The former chief minister, who is one of the eight Congress MLAs to have joined the ruling BJP on Wednesday, blamed the Congress central leadership in charge of Goa for this exodus
Former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat, one of the eight Congress MLAs who has joined the ruling BJP, was on a temple-visiting spree when News18 found him on Wednesday. Kamat had been to the Mahalakshmi, Nagesh Maharudra, and Damodara temples, and was on his way to Siddhivinayak before wrapping up the day that saw him “exacting revenge” from the Congress by embarrassing the central leadership. The Congress leaders broke away at a time when former party chief Rahul Gandhi is on a Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Two months after the buzz of Congress MLAs joining the Bharatiya Janata Party, eight out of 11 Congress legislators switched to the BJP on Wednesday. What could not be materialised in July happened in September. Kamat had then told News18 that he was “hurt” by the allegations. He along with other MLAs took oath in temples and churches to not jump ship after winning the elections. This was prompted by the 2019 exodus of Congress legislators to the BJP.
But what made him join BJP after spending so many years in the Congress?
Speaking to News18, Kamat blamed the central leadership of the Congress in charge of Goa for this exodus.
“The party (Congress) has become leaderless. There is no leader left in the party. There is no guidance. From these all sorts of yatras (like Bharat Jodo Yatra) you won’t get votes. There is hardly any organisation left. After the election (assembly), the way the party took decisions, I was shocked. The way they treated me despite me being the senior-most leader in the assembly…I have successfully given them five years as a chief minister. Still, they treated me shabbily,” said Kamat.
The eight-time MLA said that he “retired hurt”. “My workers told me that they won’t work for the party,” added the Margao legislator.
Kamat praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for improving the stature of the country internationally. “On the other side, you see development work under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi. He has created an image for India across the world. Those who visit abroad know that foreigners look at us with respect. It wasn’t happening earlier,” said Kamat.
So did anyone from the Congress come to resolve the differences that surfaced in July?
“Nobody came to us who said we are hurt. I will give one example. One central leader came to Goa. He didn’t have the courtesy to call me or meet me and, on the contrary, their general secretary incharge of the state (Dinesh Gundu Rao) said that I am part of the conspiracy and filed a disqualification motion against me. I stood with the Congress even when others left,” he said.
Responding to whether he was promised any post in the BJP government, he said, “I joined the BJP unconditionally. I have left my fate in the hands of the BJP.”
The former CM had differences with the Congress Goa incharge Dinesh Gundu Rao that came to the fore after the latter, in July, accused Michele Lobo, who was removed from the post of leader of the opposition, and Kamat of “conspiring” with BJP leaders to weaken the party and engineer defections.
News Source : News18