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Atanasio Monserrate joins the Congress

Special Correspondent


Monserrate is accused in several criminal cases

He has been charged with provoking his supporters to assault Congress leaders


Panaji: The Goa Congress on Monday admitted into its fold Minister for Education Atanasio Monserrate, an unattached MLA, to take its legislative strength in the 40-member State Assembly to 19.

The Congress is currently heading a coalition government with the Nationalist Congress Party (3), Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (2) and one Independent legislator. The Opposition BJP has 14 MLAs while there is another Independent MLA whose loyalty is not declared.

Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said here that the party welcomed Monserrate, an unattached legislator, who was elected on a ticket of local outfit of United Goans Democratic Party (UGDP). Mr. Monserrate was admitted into Congress “unconditionally”, Mr. Kamat stated.

‘A formality'

“The decision to join the Congress was taken long time back. I have now joined the party by actually filling the membership form,” Mr. Monserrate told presspersons at the Congress office. Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Subhash Shirodkar said the decision to admit Mr. Monserrate into the party was cleared by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the Congress high command.

Pending cases

Mr. Monserrate has a few criminal cases against him which include charge of leading a mob and attacking the Panaji police station two years ago in which several policemen were injured. The case is currently being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Project opposed

Mr. Monserrate has a case against him with provoking his supporters to assault Youth Congress leaders, who were leading an agitation supporting an IT Habitat project coming up in Mr. Monserrate's Assembly constituency. Mr. Monserrate had opposed the project.

Mr. Monserrate has also been accused of forging his education certificates.

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