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Congress shifts five of its 11 Goa MLAs to Chennai ahead of Presidential polls

Ahead of the July 18 Presidential elections, the opposition Congress in Goa has relocated five of its 11 MLAs to Chennai.

The MLAs who have been shifted include Sankalp Amonkar, Yuri Alemao, Altone D’Costa, Rudolf Fernandes and Carlose Alvares Ferreira.

A senior Congress leader said, “All these MLAs traveled to Chennai directly after the session was ended on Friday,” adding that they will return to Goa directly to vote in the upcoming presidential election on Monday.

Six other opposition party MLAs, including Rajesh Faldesai, Michael Lobo, Delialah Lobo, Kedar Naik, and former chief minister Digambar Kamat, are not a part of the group.

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When reached for comment, Michael Lobo told the news agency PTI, “I had not been invited. I’m not sure why they were transferred to Chennai.”

The Congress removed Michael Lobo as Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly last Sunday, accusing him and Kamat of scheming against the party and “hobnobbing with the BJP” to manufacture a split in the party’s state legislative section.

According to the party, the five MLAs, including Lobo and Kamat, had gone incommunicado. These MLAs, however, attended the Goa Assembly proceedings on Monday, the opening day of its monsoon session, and declared that nothing was wrong and that they were with the party.

The election for the post of president is scheduled to be held on 18th July, where members or the parliament and state assemblies will vote. Current president Ram Nath Kovind’s tenure is ending on July 24.

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