4 new ministers join Goa cabinet, including 3 Congress defectors
PANAJI, July 13: Three of the 10 Congress lawmakers in Goa who switched to the BJP earlier this week have found a place in the cabinet as Chief Minister Pramod Sawant inducted four new ministers today. Chandrakant Kavlekar, the former leader of opposition, has been sworn in as deputy chief minister.
"Jennifer Monserrate, the wife of Atanasio "Babush" Monserrate, will be sworn in as minister, as will Filipe Nery Rodrigues," Michael Lobo, the deputy Speaker of the Goa Assembly, had told NDTV over the phone.
Lobo is the fourth minister to be inducted in the cabinet expansion.
On Friday, the chief minister had asked three legislators from the coalition partner, Goa Forward Party, and an independent legislator, Rohan Khaunte, to step down.
Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai, Vinod Palienkar and Jayesh Salgaocar are the ministers from the Goa Forward Party, who were told to quit.
However, the Goa Forward Party legislators have refused to quit and say they should be sacked by the chief minister if he wants them to go.
"I have asked three GFP ministers and Khaunte to resign from the cabinet. I have given them the instructions as per the orders from my high command," Mr Sawant was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
In a bid to clear the air after the GFP ministers were asked to resign, the BJP's coalition partner, on its Twitter handle, said the matter will be "sorted out amicably".
"@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. (1/2)," it wrote.
Earlier on Friday, Michael Lobo had indicated that the alliance ministers who were "arm-twisting" the chief minister may be asked to leave. "You cannot put your ego before him (Pramod Sawant) or say if you do not do my work I will throw the government. -PTI