In Goa’s Nuvem, lawmaker Aleixo Sequeira faces the heat for switching sides

Updated on Sep 21, 2022 10:18 PM IST

The protesters burnt the legislator’s effigy but were prevented from approaching his home by the Goa Police which has stepped up police presence around Sequeira’s home

Aleixo Sequeira was among the eight Congress legislators who joined the BJP last week (Twitter/Abhireddygouda)
Aleixo Sequeira was among the eight Congress legislators who joined the BJP last week (Twitter/Abhireddygouda)
ByGerard de Souza

PANAJI: Goa lawmaker Aleixo Sequeira who was among the eight legislators to switch from the Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last week has had to face the ire of people including Congress workers in his constituency who are attempting to mobilise public opinion against his move.

Sequeira, a long-time Congressman, was among the eight Congress legislators who moved en masse to the BJP. He represents the Catholic-dominated Nuvem constituency in the assembly.

“We have no problem if anyone leaves the party and goes. But he should resign and go and face an election and not hide in his house like he is doing right now,” Viriato Fernandes, a Congress member who was among those leading the protest, said.

The protesters burnt the legislator’s effigy but were prevented from approaching his home by the Goa Police which has stepped up police presence around Sequeira’s home.

Sequeira is yet to respond to the criticism in the constituency. HT has reached out to him for comments. This story will be updated when he responds.

This is the second time since 2019 that the Nuvem MLA has switched from Congress to the BJP. The last MLA. Wilfred D’Sa also crossed over to the BJP in 2019. He anticipated public resentment in the assembly elections in February and opted to contest as an Independent rather than accept a BJP ticket. He lost nonetheless.

The protest by the Congress is the latest in a series of protests held by several political outfits in the state including the Aam Aadmi Party, the Revolutionary Goans Party and other civil society organisations against the defection of the MLAs to the ruling party.

A police complaint has also been filed against the eight Congress MLAs who moved to the BJP, accusing them of hurting religious sentiments by violating their pledge administered before at a temple, church and mosque before the elections that they will not defect from the Congress.

All 37 contesting Congress candidates including three of their alliance partners the Goa Forward Party had signed affidavits that they will not switch sides to the BJP after their election.

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