Panaji, Jul 13: Days after they left Congress and joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Goa, three MLAs, including former Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavelkar, along with BJP MLA Calangute Michael Lobo were sworn-in as ministers in Pramod Sawant-led government in Goa on Saturday.
The other MLAs who were sworn-in as ministers in the state cabinet were Jennifer Monserrate and Felipe Neri Rodrigues. They were administered oath of office and secrecy by Governor Mridula Sinha. While Mr Kavlekar would be given post of Deputy Chief Minister, portfolios of other ministers would be announced by Monday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said, speaking to reporters at the Raj Bhavan.
However, the day saw sacking of four ministers namely Vijay Sardesai, Vinod Palyekar, Jayesh Salgaokar, all from Goa Forward Party, and independent MLA Rohan Khaunte.
They were asked to resign by the Chief Minister on Friday but as they refused to do so, they were dropped from the ministry before the swearing-in.On the other hand, Goa Forward Party (GFP) President Vijay Sardesai adressed media at former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's 'Samadhi' at Miramar, near the city, along with his party supporters, accusing Chief Minister Pramod Sawant of trying to finish Parrikar's legacy. He also accused the Chief Minister and the central BJP leadership of betraying alliance parters, who had supported the BJP-led coalition government through all weather.
"When Stalin died in Russia, there was a period under (Nitika) Khruschev called de-Stalination, when Stalin's legacy was undone. This is going on in Goa. Attempts are being made to wipe out Parrikar's legacy," the former Deputy Chief Minister alleged. Mr Sardesai also claimed that Parrikar had requested him to continue his support to the government even after his demise. The Goa Forward Party leader said BJP leaders lacked courage to ask him to resign in view of his promise made to former Chief Minister Late Manohar Parrikar.
"I wanted to see which central leader had the moral authority or ethical vision to ask me to resign. No central BJP leader had the moral authority to tell me to resign. This is backstabbing," Sardesai said. Mr Sardesai said Parrikar had died not once but twice, one on March 17, 2019, and again on July 13, 2019. However, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant maintained that the decision of inducting Congress MLAs and subsequently inducted them into cabinet was taken after getting nod from the central leadership of the party.
"As per directions from the BJP central leadership, we have dropped four ministers and now BJP has a full majority government," the Chief Minister said. Justifying the party's decision, BJP State Unit President and MP (Rajya Sabha) Vinay Tendulkar said leaders leaving their parties and joining BJP had become a nationwide trend. "Leaders across the country, including Karnataka, are joining the BJP by leaving the Congress and other parties. This is a trend," he said. UNI