Panaji: Taking a harsh view of ex-Chief Minister and Margao MLA Digambar Kamatclandestine rendezvous with the BJP camp, Congress fired him from the Congressional Working Committee (CWC) on Sunday. The action was launched by Congress Speaker Sonia Gandhi based on a report from Goa office manager Dinesh Gundu Rao and party chairman Amit Patkar.
According to the Congress, Kamat worked with the BJP to separate eight Congress MPs and merge with the BJP. “The President of Congress removed Digambar Kamat from his current position as a permanent guest on the Congress Working Committee with immediate effect,” said AICC Secretary General KC Venugopal.
On July 10, Rao and Patkar accused Kamat and opposition leader Michael Lobo of trying to engineer a two-thirds split in Congress. Rao had said that Kamat had betrayed the party despite the party rewarding him with the post of chief minister in the past and giving him important responsibilities. Kamat, for his part, accused Rao and the AICC of insulting him by unceremoniously dropping him as opposition leader after the 2022 parliamentary elections.
“I never asked for a position (in the party),” Kamat told TOI. “They released a letter last time appointing me to the CWC and removed me as Leader of the Opposition. And now they have released another letter removing me from the post. It is the decision of the party.
Kamat had earlier said he was “shocked and stunned” by the stance Congress has taken against him. The party filed a motion for disqualification before the President of Goa, Ramesh Tawadkar, and Kamat said he would “fight” as there were no grounds for disqualification.
Although he led the party in assembly elections as the only provincial deputy, Kamat was removed from office. A disgruntled Kamat skipped CWC meetings, skipped a Congress Legislative Party meeting with Patkar and Rao, and a meeting with AICC General Secretary Mukul Wasnik. Kamat argues that Congress humiliated him and angered his workers, and refused to admit he had been in contact with the BJP regarding a possible merger.
“The Congress leaders didn’t consult me last time, and this time too, they didn’t consult me,” Kamat said.