3 ex-Cong MLAs get Cabinet upgrade in Goa within days of joining BJP
While three Congress MLAs were made ministers, the BJP’s former ally Goa Forward Party said it will join the opposition.Updated: Jul 13, 2019 18:07 IST
Chandrakant Kavlekar, Jennifer Monserrate and Filipe Néri Rodrigues who were among 10 Congress MLAs who joined the BJP in Goa on Wednesday were sworn in as ministers along with former deputy Speaker of the Assembly Michael Lobo on Saturday.
The four were sworn in after 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.
Governor Mridula Sinha administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers.
Earlier in the day, Lobo had resigned as deputy Speaker in anticipation of his induction into the state cabinet.
Sawant who returned to the state from New Delhi after discussions with the BJP’s the central leadership said there were many reasons for dropping non-BJP members.
“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.
Saturday’s reshuffle came after the 10 Congress lawmakers and merged with the ruling BJP, boosting the saffron party’s strength to 27 in the 40-member assembly while the Congress’ number has fallen to five.
The GFP, which has been miffed after Sawant told its ministers to quit, expectedly withdrew support to the government as the political equations in the state changed quickly.
“We will withdraw support to the government and join the opposition,” its leader Vijai Sardesai said.