The Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea seeking disqualification of ten Congress MLAs and two Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLAs who left their respective parties and joined the ruling BJP in 2019.
The division bench comprising of Justice Manish Pitale and Justice R N Laddha had a week back concluded hearing arguments in the disqualification matter.
The division bench said the "petitioners have not been able to make out a case for interference in the impugned orders passed by the Speaker".
On July 10, 2019, 10 Congress MLAs claiming to be two-thirds of the legislative party of the Congres merged with the BJP.
Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar had filed a disqualification petition against 10 party MLAs who had switched over to the BJP. MGP MLA Sudin Dhavalikar had also filed a similar petition before the bench against two MGP MLAs who had joined the BJP in the same year by splitting the party.
However, in the recently concluded Goa Assembly elections, some have contested on different party tickets while some stood Independent.
Chodankar claimed this will encourage the BJP-led central government's "politics to change the mandate of people" with the use of money.
Reacting to the high court's verdict, Chodankar said, "This will be completely challenge the existence of political parties. This will set a bad precedence , not only for the Congress party but all the political parties across the country."
Advocate Abhijit Gosawi, representing Chodankar, said the order is going to question the role of political parties in the democratic process.
"It will happen that two-third of the members will take a certain decision and the political party will have no say in the process," he said
On April 20, 2021, Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly Rajesh Patnekar had dismissed the disqualification petitions filed by Chodankar and Dhavalikar.