Three Congress defectors, Deputy Speaker inducted into Goa Cabinet

Days after 10 Congress MLAs in Goa joined the BJP, CM Sawant reshuffled his cabinet, dropping three members of ally GFP and an Independent legislator as ministers.

Published: 13th July 2019 03:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th July 2019 09:39 AM   |  A+A-

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Governor Mridula Sinha with the four new ministers after they were sworn in on 13 July 2019. (Photo | ANI Twitter)

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Governor Mridula Sinha with the four new ministers after they were sworn in on 13 July 2019. (Photo | ANI Twitter)

By Express News Service

The Goa Forward Party (GFP), the BJP’s ally for past two years, emerged as the net loser as Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday dropped four ministers from his cabinet to accommodate the Congress rebels who have joined the saffron party.

Of the 10 Congress rebels inducted into the BJP, three were given ministerial berths in the cabinet rejig.

Former leader of opposition in the Goa Assembly Chandrakant Babu Kavalekar, former chief minister Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserratte’s wife Jennifer, Filipe Nery Rodrigues and deputy Speaker of the Goa Assembly Michael Lobo are the four new ministers whom governor Mridula Singh administered the oath of office and secrecy on Saturday. Kavalekar would now be the deputy CM.

ALSO READ | Amit Shah, JP Nadda laud 'smooth' merger of Goa MLAs in BJP: Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo

On Friday, the chief minister had asked Deputy CM Vijai Sardesai, Vinod Palienkar and Jayesh Salgaoncar, all of GFP, and Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte to step down, virtually ending the BJP’s two year and four months old alliance with the GFP appears to have come to an end.

The BJP wanted Lobo to be a minister for a long time and hence Sawant had requested Sardesai to see if any of the GFP ministers could resign. Sardesai, however, had rejected the proposal. That proved to be a flashpoint for the recent political developments.

Headache for GFP

The BJP’s strength has rendered GFP powerless in the state, joining hands with Congress too won’t be easy for the party.

After Manohar Parrikar’s death, the Congress had approached Sardesai to topple BJP government. But he had snubbed the party

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