Four of the 10 Congress MLAs that jumped ship into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday were inducted into the Goa cabinet on Saturday. Among them was former leader of opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar and Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo. Kavlekar has been appointed as deputy chief minister of the state.
Now with this successful horse-trading the BJP have a strength of 27 40 seat house Goa Assembly.
The chief minister dropped three members from its coalition partner Goa Forward Party (GFP) and an Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte from the Cabinet on Friday.
Goa Governor Mridula Sinha administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at a ceremony held at Raj Bhavan in the afternoon.
This is the second cabinet reshuffle by Sawant since he took over as chief minister three months ago. On being asked why the allies were dropped from cabinet, Mr. Sawant said the decision has been taken as per the directives of the central leadership.
GFP president and former Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai called the induction of the 10 Congress MLAs as the “death of the legacy” of late chief minister Manohar Parrikar.
Recently, the BJP opposed Babush Monserrate during the bypolls for Panjim assembly seat which was held two months ago. The Chief Minister had himself vocally spoken about cases against Monserrate and today has included him in the cabinet.
Late chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s son, Utpal Parrikar said, “this is definitely a different path which my father had taken. I am worried about the workers of the party who are working for the past 30 years.”
The Congress strength in the Goa Assembly dropped to 5.