Four New Ministers Inducted In Goa Cabinet

Panaji: Three Congress rebels — Chandrakant Kavlekar, Jennifer Monserrate and Filipe Nery Rodrigues — along with former Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo were sworn in as ministers during a formal ceremony at Raj Bhavan here on Saturday.

The Congress rebels had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday. Kavlekar, a former leader of opposition, is tipped to be the deputy Chief Minister.

The swearing-in ceremony followed sacking of four non-BJP ministers by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant after a daylong stand-off. During the stand-off, Vijai Sardesai, Vinod Palienkar, Jayesh Salgaocar — all ministers from Goa Forward Party — and Rohan Khaunte (Independent) refused to resign as per the Chief Mininster’s request. 

Only one non-BJP minister Govind Gaude survived the cull on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the swearing-in ceremony, state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar said it had become a nationwide trend for leaders from other political parties to join the BJP.

“Leaders across the country, including Karnataka, are joining the BJP by leaving the Congress. This is a trend,” he told reporters.

When asked about the disillusionment of the party cadre over induction of 10 Congress MLAs into the BJP on Wednesday, Tendulkar said, “The workers will have to tolerate this and all of us should go ahead together”.