BJP inducts Goa Forward Party’s ex-MLA Jayesh Salgaonkar, says more are coming
Jayesh Salgaonkar resigned from the Goa assembly late on Thursday evening after the Goa Forward Party issued him show cause notice, accusing him of not anti-party activities and asked why he wasn’t rebutting claims that he will join the BJP
PANAJI: Goa Forward legislator Jayesh Salgaonkar was formally inducted into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday by Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, State BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanavade and other leaders. His entry into the BJP will be the first of many in the runup to the Goa elections early next year, Sawant has claimed.
“There are still many who are scheduled to join us. They are asking us, when should we join? We have asked them to wait for some time, as we are inducting people one by one,” Sawant said addressing the group of Jayesh’ supporters who gathered outside the Goa BJP headquarters where the formal induction took place.
“Over the next two, two-and-a-half months there will be many who will join the BJP. BJP doors are open for all workers and leaders,” Sawant added. His comments come amid reports that Congress MLA Ravi Naik, whose sons Ritesh and Roy joined the BJP last year, is looking to switch sides to the BJP.
Salgaonkar was inducted as a minister in the state cabinet after the Vijai Sardesai-led Goa Forward Party (GFP) extended support to the BJP to enable it to form the government back in 2017. He was dropped from Pramod Sawant’s council of ministers after 10 Congress lawmakers joined the BJP in 2019 and the BJP didn’t need Sardesai’s party.
Before he resigned, Salgaonkar represented the Saligao constituency in north Goa which he wrested from the BJP in 2017 defeating then sitting minister Dilip Parulekar on a GFP ticket.
But his entry into the BJP is expected to lead to some complications on the Saligao seat where local party leaders expect his induction to make it impossible for any of the local party leaders to qualify for a party ticket.
The opposition to Salgaonkar’s entry forced state BJP chief Sadanand Shet Tanavade to dissolve a local block unit as its members gathered at the party headquarters and raised slogans against the leadership. The members accused the leadership of “using and throwing” the hardworking functionaries and betraying the party principles.
Salgaonkar, however, said he was eager to work with the existing block members and would reach out to them to resolve differences if any.
On Thursday, GFP issued a notice to Salgaonkar asking him to respond to his “constant anti-party activities.” It cited his “behaviour and conduct” and said it clearly indicates his intent is to work with the BJP “for personal gains thereby compromising the values and policies of the party”. He was given 24 hours to respond.
Salgaonkar is the second lawmaker to resign from the assembly since Congress’s Luizinho Faleiro quit to defect to the Trinamool Congress in September.