Hours after resigning as a Congress MLA, former Goa Chief Minister Ravi Naik formally joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday, ahead of the 2022 state assembly polls.

After Naik’s exit from the party, the Congress’ strength in the state legislative assembly has reduced from 17 MLAs to three legislators.

“Only (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi can take the country ahead and ensure that no one stays hungry. BJP will win at least 27 MLAs in these elections,” Naik said at an induction ceremony at Panaji.

Ravi Naik’s younger son Roy Naik said he has requested his father to join the BJP.

In the 2017 state Assembly polls, Congress had emerged as the single largest party by winning 17 seats. However, the BJP, which had won 13 seats, forged an alliance with some regional outfits and independents to form government in the coastal state.

Since then, a number of Congress MLAs quit the party and joined the BJP.

After the 2017 polls, Valpoi MLA Vishwajit Rane was the first to resign from Congress. He later joined the BJP and won the bypoll from the seat.

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