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3 Congress rebel MLAs, 1 from BJP to join Goa Cabinet

PTI Panaji | Updated on July 12, 2019 Published on July 12, 2019

Four Goa MLAs, including three Congress rebels who joined the ruling BJP a couple of days ago, will be inducted in the State cabinet on Saturday, according to sources.

Ten of the 15 Congress MLAs in Goa, led by Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, switched to the BJP on Wednesday.

Accompanied by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, the breakaway group met BJP President Amit Shah and party’s working president JP Nadda in New Delhi on Thursday.

A top BJP source said the three MLAs formerly with the Congress, and the Deputy Speaker of Legislative Assembly Michael Lobo will be sworn-in as ministers.However, he did not disclose the names of the three former Congress MLAs. When contacted, Lobo, a BJP MLA, confirmed that he and three other MLAs will be joining the Sawant-led Cabinet.

Ministers to be dropped

In order to accommodate the new MLAs, Sawant would be dropping four ministers from the Cabinet, most of them from the BJP’s alliance partners, the sources said.

HSources said all the three ministers of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) — its president and Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai, Vinod Palyekar and Jayesh Salgaonkar — are expected to be dropped, along with Independent MLA and Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte.

The GFP, a regional party, has been with the BJP ever since the party formed the government in the coastal State after the February, 2017 Assembly polls.

Published on July 12, 2019
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