Goa CM Pramod Sawant asks 4 Ministers to step down; to accommodate Congress Defectors

Goa CM Pramod Sawant

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said that he has conveyed 4 four Ministers to step down from their post on the direction of party High Command. Sources familiar with the development claimed that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has asked 3 Goa Forward Party MLAs and one Independent Lawmaker to step down to make a way for Congress defectors.

Speaking to media, Sawant said, ‘I have asked 4 Ministers to step down from their Ministerial berth, I have done what I have been asked to do’.

As quoted by ANI, Sawant told the news agency that he has sought resignation of GFP Minister Vijay Sardesai, Jayesh Salgaonkar and Vinod Palekar while one Independent legislator has been asked to step down.

Soon after the news started making rounds in media, Goa Forward Party Ministers took to Twitter and said, ‘@Goaforwardparty is part of the NDA and had joined the BJP-led state government after talks with the national leadership of the @BJP4India. The present state BJP leaders were not part of the discussions then’.

In another tweet, the party said, ‘As such we will take appropriate steps only after talking with the NDA leadership at the centre. We have not yet received any official communication from the @BJP4India central leaders. On the contrary,we have received indications that the matter will be sorted out amicably’.

READ: 3 Ex-Congress MLAs, BJP’s Micheal Lobo likely to be inducted in CM Pramod Sawant-led Goa Cabinet

The quick turn of events came on the backdrop of speculations that suggest 3 Former Congress MLAs and one BJP Lawmaker will soon be inducted in the State Cabinet.

Among those who are Top Contenders for the Cabinet Berth include Chandrakant Kavlekar, Babush Monserrate and Philip Neri Rodrigues. All three are former Congress legislators who joined BJP along with 7 others two days back. While from the BJP, Goa Deputy Speaker Micheal Lobo is the front runner for the cabinet berth, Sources claimed on Friday.

Micheal Lobo’s induction in the state cabinet is on cards for months. Speaking at Lobo’s birthday celebration last month, Chief Minister Sawant said Lobo will be given a bigger responsibility soon.

BACKGROUND:

The Cabinet Expansion is expected days after, 10 out of its 15 Congress MLAs in Goa shifted loyalties and merged with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Following the merger episode, Congress is now left with just 5 MLAs in the state where it was the single largest party after 2017 Assembly polls. While Bharatiya Janata Party has now 27 MLAs in 40-member Assembly.

After the merger Episode, Bharatiya Janata Party is now heading the government with 27 Legislators, Goa Forward Party has 3, MGP has one, while 3 are Independent MLAs.

While the opposition has now 6 MLAs – 5 from Indian National Congress and a lone from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

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