PANAJI: In a significant development, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar last night dropped two of his Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party colleagues from cabinet following their outburst against the BJP-led government, raising prospects of new permutations and combinations in the state going to polls next year. Parsekar faxed the communication to Goa Governor Mridula Sinha late night recommended dropping of Sudin Dhavlikar and Dipak Dhavlikar from the cabinet. With this, the total number of ministers in Parsekar-led cabinet is reduced to ten.
"I have recommended that both the ministers be dropped under article 164 (1) of Constitution of India," the CM told PTI. He said all the portfolios which were allotted to both the ministers are reverted to him, till they are allotted to anyone else. MGP was represented by Sudin and Dipak Dhavlikar in the cabinet. MGP had fought 2012 Assembly election in alliance with BJP. While BJP won 21 seats in the 40-member house, MGP was victorious on three. Hence, ouster of two MGP ministers won't pose any threat to the government.
While Sudin Dhavalikar held important portfolios like Transport and Public Works Department, Dipak Dhavlikar headed Rural Development Agency. Responding to a question, Parsekar said he was yet to decide on filling both the vacancies. When contacted, Dipak Dhavalikar said he was yet to receive any communication about his removal from the cabinet. "I can't comment as we are yet to receive any communication," he said. MGP, the first regional ruling party after Goa was liberated from Portuguese in 1961, had recently decided not to have a pre-poll alliance with the BJP if Parsekar continues to lead the party.
Sudin recently accused Parsekar of taking Goa ten years backward during his rule of two-and-half years, while Dipak, the MGP president, had dared the BJP to dissolve the Assembly and face election on their own and win the majority seats. "So if BJP wants us to go, they should dissolve the Assembly. It is not the government of their own. We also have a share in it. Let BJP dissolve the Assembly and face election on their own and win the majority seats," Dipak said.
Interestingly, RSS rebel Subhash Velingkar-led Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) had proposed alliance with MGP for polls. Hinting at this, Parsekar told reporters earlier in the day, "What has happened that suddenly Dhavalikar has started reacting this way in last two-three days ? Has he met someone who has instigated him or he has started dreaming of becoming chief minister?"