Hours after two MGP MLAs joined the BJP, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday dropped deputy CM and MGP chief Sudin Dhavalikar from the state cabinet.
In a communication addressed to Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, Sawant said, “I have dropped Sudin Dhavalikar from the cabinet. The decision on filling up the vacant seat will be taken very soon.”
CM Sawant will take over the Transport and Public Works portfolios held by Dhavalikar.
Goa tourism minister Manohar Ajgaonkar and another MGP MLA, Dipak Pawaskar, merged its legislative wing with the BJP early Wednesday.
Dhavalikar accused the BJP of robbing MGP at midnight. “MGP is a party of the people. At night, the chowkidars who have committed dacoity on MGP, have shocked the people of Goa. People of Goa are watching this. People will decide on the course of action,” he told The Indian Express.
Briefing the press on the development, CM Sawant said Dhavlikar was dropped for working against the BJP alliance. “Dhavlikar has been dropped from the ministry. He is doing anti activity against whatever tie up we did, but we are in the alliance government. His brother Deepak Dhavalikar is contesting in Shiroda. Again and again we had requested him but he is not ready to listen so we took the decision. Already their two members had willingly merged into ore party so we have decided to drop him. Governor has accepted notification has already been issued and we had requested other MLA Deepak Pauskar to be inducted in the ministry today evening,” he said.
On Tuesday, MGP president Dipak Dhavalikar had claimed that his party was the target of a conspiracy by opponents. He had said moves were afoot by rivals to wean away Ajgaonkar and Pawaskar and, in the process, isolate him.
“Any attempt to disturb our MLAs will be viewed seriously and we won’t mind pulling out of the government,” the MGP chief had said.
With the two MGP MLAs joining them, the BJP now has the strength of 14 legislators in the house — equal to the Congress. Meanwhile, bypolls will be held for three Assembly seats on April 23. The bypolls were neccessiated after two Congress MLAs defected to the BJP and BJP MLA Francis D’Souza passed away.