Goa Speaker summons three NCP MLAs after two defy party

Panaji, Jan 17 (PTI) Goa Assembly Speaker has summonedall the three NCP MLAs for a meeting on January 24, after theparty informed that it wanted to replace its whip and thelegislative wing''s president.

Speaker Pratapsingh Rane told PTI last night that he hassummoned all the three NCP MLAs as he has received a letterfrom their party about replacement of the legislative wing''spresident and the whip.

After meeting the three MLAs (Jose Philip D''Souza,Nilkant Halarnkar and Fransisco Micky Pacheco), the Speakerwill give his decision on January 25.

NCP''s General Secretary T P Pithambaram on December 31had written to the Speaker informing about appointment ofPacheco as the legislative wing''s president as well as thewhip of the party in the Legislative Assembly.

The letter followed D''Souza and Halarnkar''s refusal toaccept the party diktat to resign from Chief Minister DigamberKamat''s cabinet. NCP was reportedly unhappy with the duo''sclose relations with Congress.

Sources close to Halarnkar said that both he and D''Souzahave resolved to remain united. They are likely to tell theSpeaker that they want to continue with D''souza as legislativewing''s president and Halarnkar as the whip.

Sources pointed out that two out of three legislatorswill make up a majority, and Speaker will have to take thatinto consideration.

NCP Goa unit President Surendra Sirsat said that theparty will wait for the Speaker''s decision.

"Let him say something then only we can react...We expectthat Speaker will respect the letter given by the party," hesaid.

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