Goa House strength back to 40 as four MLAs take oath


Panaji: The strength of the Goa Legislative Assembly was restored to original 40 Tuesday after four newly-elected MLAs took oath.

In the new setting, the BJP has emerged as the single largest party with 17 MLAs, reversing the 2017 position when the saffron party had won 13 seats and the Congress 17 in the assembly elections.

Acting Speaker Michael Lobo administered the oath to the MLAs–three from the BJP and one from the Congress.

The legislators who took oath are Subhash Shirodkar, Dayanand Sopte and Joshua D’Silva–all from the BJP, and Atanasio Monserratte of the Congress.

All of them got elected in the bypolls held to four seats, results for which were announced on May 23.

Byelections to Shiroda and Mandrem were held due to defection of Shirodkar and Sopte to the BJP last year.

Panaji and Mapusa seats fell vacant due to the death of sitting MLAs–chief minister Manohar Parrikar and former deputy chief minister Francis D’Souza, respectively.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was amongst the dignitaries who attended the swearing-in ceremony held at the Assembly complex.

The ruling BJP has now become the largest political party having 17 MLAs comprising three legislators who got elected in bypolls recently and Vishwajit Rane who had switched loyalty from the Congress after the 2017 poll results. The Congress now has 15 members.

The BJP ally Goa Forward Party (GFP) has three MLAs while another coalition partner Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP) has one MLA. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has one legislator, while rest three are Independents.

The Pramod Sawant government is supported by the GFP, MGP and Independents.

Though the Congress had emerged as the single largest party in 2017, the BJP quickly cobbled up a coalition to form a government under late Parrikar.