Three former Congress MLAs who switched sides to BJP were sworn in as ministers in the Goa Cabinet, today. Michael Lobo, who stepped down as deputy Speaker of the Assembly earlier in the day, was also sworn in as the minister.
The latest move comes a day after Chief Minister Pramod Sawant asked three Goa Forward Party (GFP) leaders and an Independent lawmaker to resign.
Apart from Lobo, Chandrakant Kavlekar, Philip Nery Rodrigues, Jennifer Monserratte, who had quit the Congress and joined the BJP Wednesday, were sworn in as ministers at Raj Bhavan at 3 pm.
With Congress struggling to stay afloat in Karnataka after the resignation of 16 coalition MLAs, a ripple effect took place in Goa, with 10 MLAs of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) merging with the BJP. The fresh move has increased the strength of the saffron party to 27 in the 40-member House. Congress is now reduced to just five.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sawant confirmed that Former Leader of the Opposition in the House, Chandrakant Kavlekar, will be the new deputy CM, replacing Vijai Sardesai of the GFP. Meanwhile, Sardesai whose party no longer holds any cabinet post declared that “ now we will be the opposition!”