Mocking the Congress over reports that some of its MLAs in Goa were willing to defect to the ruling BJP, Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai Monday equated the legislators in the opposition party with “monkeys” who hop from one place to another. Sardesai was referring to reports that at least ten MLAs of the Congress were willing to cross over to the BJP.
“There are so many monkeys in the Congress party who are ready to jump. We have read about it in media. But we will not provide them any space in our fold. Let them stay where they are,” said Sardesai, whose Goa Forward Party (GFP) is one of the constituents in the BJP-led coalition government.
The minister was speaking at an event in the presence of Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco. BJP Goa unit president Vinay Tendulkar had recently said that at least ten MLAs of the Congress were keen to join the BJP, but were denied entry into the saffron camp.
In his speech, Lourenco appreciated efforts of Sardesai-led Forest department for planting more trees in forests in a bid to prevent monkeys from intruding into human settlements. To this, Sardesai said, “I can understand that Reginaldo (Lourenco) has concerned about monkeys...Some MLAs from his own party have become monkeys”.
Meanwhile, the Congress has disapproved of the “language” used by Sardesai. “The language used by Sardesai does not behove a deputy chief minister. No one from Congress is willing to join the BJP anymore. We have our flock intact and we will show our strength during upcoming monsoon session of the assembly,” said Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar. In the 40-member House, the Congress has 14 MLAs and the BJP 17.