The seven-month-old Save Goa Front, a regional outfit launched by former Congressman Churchill Alemao, on Wednesday formally merged with the Congress party.
This merger has increased the Congress strength from 16 to 18 legislators in the 40-member Goa assembly. Two legislators -- Alemao and Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco -- have joined the Congress as a result of the merger.
The Congress-led coalition is ruling the coastal state and SGF was a part of the government. Alemao was a member of the cabinet.
"Alemao was always a Congressman. He was away from the party over some differences. We are happy that he is back," Goa ChiefMinister Digamber Kamat told reporters after completing the merger formalities at Congress house in Panaji.
GoaPradesh Congress Committee president Fransisco Sardinha, along with other state party leaders, was present at the function held on Wednesday morning.
Congresspresident Sonia Gandhi had given her nod for the merger last week.
"Mergerhas made Congress stronger," Kamat said.
Alemao, a former Congress MP, had left the party before the June 2Goa assembly elections to form his own outfit.
The SGF contested polls from 18 seats defeating two former Congress chief ministers --Fransisco Sardinha and Luizinho Faleiro.