PANAJI: Goa Forward Party (GFP) president Vijai Sardesai has accused Chief Minister Pramod Sawant of "back-stabbing" the allies, and questioned the rationale behind the "wholesale defection" of Congress MLAs when the BJP-led state government was stable.
He also highlighted the contrast between the working styles of late chief minister Manohar Parrikar and his successor Sawant. In an interview to PTI on Tuesday, Sardesai said the 10 Congress MLAs committed "political suicide" only to get three GFP legislators removed from the Sawant-led cabinet.
After the 10 Congress MLAs joined the BJP earlier this month, Sawant reshuffled his cabinet, dropping three members of the then ally GFP, including Sardesai who was the deputy chief minister, and an Independent legislator as ministers. "When there was stability and the BJP-led government was running smoothly, we were not expecting such a huge wholesale defection to happen," Sardesai said.
"What Sawant has done is back-stabbing due to which there has been distrust among NDA allies. Today, the BJP might have numbers on its side and it may not need allies, but still this behaviour is unnatural," he said.
He claimed the 10 Congress MLAs were inducted into the BJP only to remove the three GFP members. "To eliminate three, ten MLAs committed political suicide. When this proposal had gone to then CM Parrikar, he took an unequivocal stand that those who helped him come to power in 2017, will continue with him for a full term. Parrikar accommodated the Mahashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) in 2012 despite having the numbers," the GFP leader pointed out.
After the recent political developments in Goa, the BJP's strength in the 40-member House has gone up to 27, while the Congress, which emerged as the single-largest party after the 2017 state polls, has been reduced to five MLAs.