Goa Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar has finally issued notices to former chief minister Digambar Kamat and former Leader of Opposition Michael Lobo on the disqualification petition filed against them by Congress State president Amit Patkar back in July this year.
Tawadkar has also fixed a physical hearing in the matter in his chamber at 12 noon on December 16.
Interestingly, Patkar’s disqualification petition against Kamat and Lobo is not related to the eventual mid-September defection to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the duo were involved in alongwith six other Congress legislators but the alleged attempt to defect in July which the Congress claimed it managed to thwart.
The notice issued to Kamat and Lobo on behalf of the Speaker by Legislature Secretary Namrata Ulman states: “The petition for disqualification under paragraph 2(1)(B) of the Tenth Schedule read with Article 191(2) of the Constitution of India and read with the Members of the Goa Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Ground of Defection) Rules, 1986, will be taken up on December 16, at 12pm, in the speaker’s chamber at the assembly complex at Porvorim.”
It may be recalled that the Congress led by its AICC general secretary in-charge of Goa Dinesh Gundu Rao had launched a massive exercise to prevent a defection when media reports were agog that a group of legislators were planning to jump ship in July.
Dinesh Rao had accused Lobo, who was then the Congress legislature party leader and holding the cabinet-rank post of Opposition Leader of conspiring to split the party alongwith Kamat.
Patkar had then shot off a letter to Tawadkar conveying the party’s decision to strip Lobo of the designation of CLP leader and had simultaneously filed his disqualification petition in which he claimed Lobo and Kamat had “voluntarily” given up their membership of the Congress and are liable for disqualification.