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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

3 former Congress MLAs who joined BJP take oath as ministers in Goa

The reshuffle comes after 10 Congress MLA joined the BJP on Wednesday which boosted the saffron party’s strength to 27 in the 40-member assembly and gave it the leverage to discard its ally, the Goa Forward Party.

india Updated: Jul 13, 2019 15:32 IST
Gerard de Souza
Gerard de Souza
Hindustan Times, Panaji
Goa Chief minister Pramod Sawant at  Panaji  on his return from New Delhi where he had gone to finalise the ministerial berths in consultation with the BJP’s central leadership.
Goa Chief minister Pramod Sawant at Panaji on his return from New Delhi where he had gone to finalise the ministerial berths in consultation with the BJP’s central leadership. (PTI)
         

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.

Also read: Parrikar aides express discontent over induction of Congress leaders

“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.

First Published: Jul 13, 2019 14:25 IST

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