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It is a 24-hour job, Goa Speaker says after merger


Panaji: There is nothing ethically wrong in facilitating a political split at 1:45 am, deputy speaker of the Goa legislative assembly Michael Lobo said on Wednesday.

Speaking reporters after accepting a letter, which sought merger of two out of three MGP legislators into the ruling BJP early on Wednesday morning, Lobo also said that being a Speaker of the state legislative assembly is a 24-hour job.

"See, the job of a Speaker is 24 hours. When an MLA wants to meet the Speaker, he has to be available. Both MLAs called me and wanted to meet me, in order to merge with the BJP. I had to meet them," Lobo said, when asked if it was unethical to open the Speaker's office during late hours to facilitate the merger.

As Deputy Speaker, who is the officiating Speaker of the state assembly, Lobo oversaw the merger. Pramod Sawant, who served as Speaker from 2017 till last week, quit the post to be sworn in as Chief Minister on March 19.

In late night drama, two MGP MLAs Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar split the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and joined the BJP at 1:45 am in presence of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar. 

The merger takes the BJP's legislative strength to 14 MLAs, on par with the main Opposition party, the Congress.




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