Ten MLAs of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) merged with the ruling BJP-led NDA in Goa earlier this week, increasing the strength the ruling party's to 27 in the 40-member House. Congress is now reduced to just five.
Former Leader of the Opposition in the Goa Legislative Assembly, Chandrakant Kavlekar, will be sworn in as the new deputy CM of the state, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant confirmed on Saturday morning. Kavlekar will replace Vijai Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party, an NDA ally, who resigned from the post on Friday at the behest of Sawant to pave the way for the induction of the former Congress leader into the government.
“I have asked Goa Forward ministers and independent Rohan Khaunte to resign. Newly inducted Chandrakant Kavlekar will be the new Deputy Chief Minister,” Sawant told The Indian Express.
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Apart from Kavlekar, Philip Nery Rodrigues, Atanasio Monserratte, who had quit the Congress and joined the BJP on Wednesday, will be sworn in as ministers at Raj Bhavan at 3 pm.
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Ten MLAs of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) merged with the ruling BJP-led NDA in Goa earlier this week, increasing the strength the ruling party’s to 27 in the 40-member House. Congress is now reduced to just five.
According to the IE report, the portfolios likely to be given to the defecting Congress MLAs include Town and Country Planning (held by Sardesai), Revenue, and Information Technology, River Navigation and Water Resources, Housing, and Agriculture.
Panaji MLA Atanasio Monserrate, who is said to have brought five other MLAs along with his wife and former MLA Jennifer Monseratte into the BJP fold, is expected to get a plum portfolio.
“To be frank, I joined the Congress a couple of times… the last time when they asked me I said it was like the return of the prodigal son, then I guessed as much after a month that I really didn’t belong there…All the work in your constituency will be fulfilled. That kind of an assurance I never had in my 17 years (as a politician)… They (the BJP) say sabka saath sabka vikas, I really felt that there,” he told reporters after his arrival from Delhi.
Meanwhile, Michael Lobo has resigned as deputy Speaker of Goa Assembly to pave the way for his induction into the Cabinet. He informed that the Chief Minister personally called ministers and asked them to resign.
“I resigned from the post as I will be inducted into the cabinet later in the day,” Lobo said after submitting his resignation to Speaker Rajesh Patnekar in earlier today.