In a big blow to the Congress, two party MLAs from Goa on Tuesday defected to the BJP. Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte joined the saffron party in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal at the BJP headquarters in Delhi.
Shirodkar and Sopte had flown out of Panaji late on Monday evening with BJP Goa chief Vinay Tendulkar and state health minister Vishwajit Rane.
On Tuesday morning, the two legislators held a long meeting with BJP party chief Amit Shah at his residence in Delhi, after which Shirodkar told the media that both the MLAs will join the BJP in the evening, and “two-three more Congress MLAs will also join in the coming days.”
Addressing the media later, Goyal said, “I hope both the leaders will help Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.”
Shirodkar and Sopte’s entry in the BJP makes it the single largest party in the western state with 16 MLAs. The party also has support of Maharashtra Gomantak Party, Goa Forward Party and independents with three MLAs from each camp.