NCP legislator Nilkant Halarnkar was on Tuesday inducted in the Digamber Kamat Cabinet in place of Fransisco Pacheco, who resigned after being embroiled in a controversy over alleged suicide of a female friend.
Halarnkar was administered oath of office and secrecy by Governor S S Sidhu at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan this evening. Chief Minister Digamber Kamat and his Cabinet colleagues were present for the function.
Halarnkar's portfolio will be announced later.
Pacheco, who held three portfolios, including tourism, put in his papers on June 5. The 46-year-old is on the run after being questioned by Crime Branch over the death of Nadia Torrado (28).
Halarnkar, MLA from Thivim, currently heads the North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA). He was earlier inducted as Parliamentary Secretary, but had to step down after the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court ruled against having such a post.
The first-time lawmaker is among the three-MLA strong NCP that is supporting the Congress-led Government. The Sharad Pawar-led party has been given two Ministerial berths as part of its pact with the Congress.
In 40-member House, Congress has 18 MLAs followed by BJP (14), NCP (3), Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Independents (2 each) and United Goans Democratic Party (1).