Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday dropped four ministers in his cabinet — Vijai Sardesai, Vinoda Paliencar, Jayesh Salgaocar of the BJP’s ally Goa Forward Party (GFP) and independent MLA Rohan Khaunte while deputy Speaker of the legislative assembly Michael Lobo resigned in anticipation of his induction into the state cabinet.
Three of those berths will be filled by Congress MLAs who were among 10 lawmakers of the party who joined the BJP on Wednesday. In a last minute development, former Congressman Atanasio Monserrate who was widely anticipated to be given a portfolio stepped aside and his wife Jennifer will be made Minister in his place.
Another Congressman Chandrakant Kavlekar, who until Wednesday was the leader of Opposition will be made deputy chief minister, and is tipped to be given the vital portfolio of Town Planning.
Filipe Néri Rodrigues, another MLA who switched sides will also be inducted as a minister.
“This decision has been taken by taking the central leadership into confidence. The state leadership discussed with the central leadership. There are many reasons (for the dropping ministers and inducting others). Considering all the reasons, the central leadership has taken a decision that four members of the BJP should now be made ministers.” chief minister Sawant told reporters at the airport after returning from New Delhi.
The GFP, which has been miffed after Sawant told its ministers to quit, expectedly withdrew support to the government.
“We will withdraw support to the government and join the opposition,” its leader : Vijai Sardesai said.
The reshuffle comes after 10 Congress lawmakers broke away from the party on Wednesday and merged with the ruling BJP whose strength in the 40-member assembly has gone up to 27 while the Congress’ number has fallen to five.
Jul 13, 2019 14:25 IST