Demanding the resignations of four Goa Forward Party (GFP) MPs including deputy chief minister Vijai Sardesai Friday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Friday said that newly-inducted Chandrakant Kavlekar will replace the GFP leader. Sawant’s latest move leaves seven vacant portfolios up for grabs which include plum posts such as Town and Country Planning, Revenue, and Information Technology, River Navigation and Water Resources, Housing, Agriculture.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Sawant said, “I have asked Goa Forward ministers and independent Rohan Khaunte to resign. Newly Inducted Chandrakant Kavlekar (of Congress) will be the new Deputy Chief Minister.”
The four Goa Forward ministers who have been asked to resign are Vijai Sardesai, Jayesh Salgaonkar, Vinod Paliencar and independent MLA Rohan Khaunte. Meanwhile, three other MLAs who recently deserted Congress along with BJP legislator and Goa Assembly Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo have been inducted in the cabinet.
Lobo, who has been patiently waiting for the allocation of a plum post, told The Indian Express: “I might get a portfolio from the old ones. I am already director of the solid waste management committee and hence I have asked the minister to make me the minister for the same. The biggest problem Goa faces is Garbage.”
“For now I am happy that some old ministers are being taken out. There was a lot of threat they kept imposing that they will withdraw support if their work was not done etc The BJP was under constant fear of their dadagiri. That has gone. The newly inducted members come with good understanding,” he said, adding that the Sawant had personally called each of the ministers over phone and asked them to resign.
The Goa Forward Party, which is part of the NDA faction and is in coalition with the BJP-led state government, however, denied official communication from the central leadership and said “appropriate steps will be taken only after taking with NDA leadership at the Centre.”
“We haven’t received any official communication from BJP central leaders. Our party is part of NDA, joined BJP led state government after talks with the national leadership. The present state BJP leaders were not part of the discussion,” Sardesai told The Indian Express.
The latest development comes two days after 10 Congress MLAs merged with BJP which Sardesai remarked as “incomprehensible” as “nobody was destabilising the government”. Of the ten Anatasio Monserrate is expected to get a plum post — having defected from Congress and bringing five other MLAs including his wife Jennifer Monseratte, a former Congress MLA and four others into BJP. READ | People must show us the way, they must reject defectors… this is about democracy: Goa Cong head Chellakumar
The Swearing-In Ceremony of new ministers will be held on Saturday at 3 pm and it will mark the fourth time that the Darbar Hall of Goa Governor House will be opened for the public.