3 former Congress MLAs among 4 sworn in as ministers in Goa

Goa cabinet rejig today, 4 non-BJP ministers to be dropped
BJP Working President JP Nadda welcomes 10 Congress MLAs from Goa into the party at the BJP headquarters, in New Delhi on July 11, 2019. Also seen Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. Photo: IANS
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Panaji: Days after 10 Congress MLAs in Goa joined the BJP, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Saturday reshuffled his cabinet, dropping three members of ally Goa Forward Party (GFP) and an Independent legislator as ministers.

Michael Lobo, who resigned as the deputy speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly, and three of the 10 MLAs who had earlier this week joined the BJP - Chandrakant Kavlekar, Jeniffer Monserratte, Philip Neri Rodrigues - were sworn in as new ministers.

Goa Governor Mridula Sinha administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at a ceremony held at Raj Bhavan in the afternoon.

Prior to the swearing-in, the chief minister issued a notification, dropping all three Goa Forward Party (GFP) ministers - Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai, Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar, Rural Development Minister Jayesh Salgaonkar - and Independent MLA and Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte from the cabinet to accommodate the new members.

Ten Congress MLAs had Wednesday joined the BJP, increasing the strength of the party to 27 in the 40-member House.

Strengthened by their support, Sawant decided to drop the GFP, a regional party that was instrumental in forming the Manohar Parrikar-led government in 2017.

This is the second cabinet reshuffle by Sawant since he took over as the chief minister three months ago.

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