Updated: January 11, 2022 8:52:20 pm
Goa Tribal Welfare Minister and Independent MLA Govind Gaude on Tuesday resigned as minister and MLA and joined the saffron party. He also announced that he will contest the upcoming legislative assembly election on a BJP ticket. His announcement comes a day after the BJP saw its first minister exit the party on Monday.
“I want to work for the whole of Goa and I want to thank the BJP for the respect that they have given me. The BJP governments at the Centre and the state have done many things in the interest of the poor and the Bahujan Samaj. Many parties have entered Goa this time. We need to tell people what intentions these parties have. The Goan people are self-respecting and will not fall prey to their enticements,” Gaude said.
Welcoming Gaude’s decision, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said, “The work he (Gaude) has done as a minister is praiseworthy. Now we are confident that the BJP will win in Priol.” He added that Gaude’s entry would not only help the BJP in his own constituency but also in others.
Gaude had defeated Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) president Deepak Dhavalikar by a margin of 4,686 votes in the previous assembly polls in 2017. He was one of the two Independent MLAs who supported the BJP government led by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in 2017. Gaude, unlike the other alliance partners who were ousted from the cabinet after 12 MLAs defected to the BJP in 2019, was retained as a minister even after Sawant took over as chief minister after Parrikar’s death in 2019.
He held the portfolios of tribal welfare, art and culture, civil supplies and price control.
Gaude is the fourth sitting MLA to be inducted into the BJP after three MLAs – Ravi Naik from the Congress, Jayesh Salgaonkar from the Goa Forward Party and Rohan Khaunte, another Independent – joined the party ahead of the upcoming polls on February 14. The party has also seen four of its MLAs exit, including minister Micheal Lobo and MLAs Alina Saldanha, Carlos Almeida and Pravin Zantye.
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