By inducting Congress MLAs, who had been booked in BJP-led regimes for illegal matka gambling and rape, the BJP has proved that it backs illegal matka business and rapists, Congress secretary in-charge of Goa A. Chellakumar said on Thursday.
Chellakumar, who is in Goa to take stock of the situation after a split in the opposition Congress led to 10 of its MLAs joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday, also said that Congress will continue to work at the grassroots level to revive the party, which now has just five MLAs in the state Assembly.
“You (BJP) had filed a rape case against Panaji MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate. Now I want to ask the BJP, Narendra Modi or Amit Shah, how are you going to secure the ladies of Goa. What is the security for the women in the state,” Chellakumar said, recalling the high-pitched election campaign for the Panaji bypoll in May this year, in which Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and top BJP leaders had repeatedly said that if Monserrate, who was chargesheeted for raping a minor in 2018, got elected, women would not be safe in Panaji.
“The CM, some in-charges of BJP Goa desk and senior leaders had accused the Congress for having fielded a rape accused candidate. And in their campaign, they came up with a slogan, that for the safety and security of the women of Panaji, you must vote for BJP and not Monserrate,” Chellakumar said.
Similarly, the All India Congress Committee Secretary also said that the now former Leader of Opposition Chandrakant alias Babu Kavlekar, who led the rebellion on Wednesday and subsequently joined the BJP, had been booked in a matka gambling case and now the BJP had the gall to appoint him as the Deputy Chief Minister.
“The BJP will talk about ethics, principles and all those things. They themselves had filed a case against Kavlekar on the matka issue. Now they want Kavlekar as the Deputy CM. That means you have joined hands with a matka businessman,” Chellakumar said.
Matka is a form of illegal gambling popular in Goa as well as the Konkan belt. Kavlekar had been booked in the illegal gambling case in 2017, after the police allegedly found illegal gambling receipts at his residence.