PANAJI: A day after 10 former Congress MLAs joined BJP, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that no decision has been taken regarding the reshuffle in his cabinet. Talking to reporters, Sawant said that the party's central leadership will take a call in this regard.
Swant, however, confirmed that the 10 former Congress MLAs, who have merged with BJP, will meet Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah and party Working President JP Nadda in Delhi today.
''They have supported me to strengthen the state government and I welcome it,'' Sawant said while speaking to ANI.
Goa CM Pramod Sawant on 10 Congress MLAs who have merged with BJP, in Delhi: The MLAs will meet Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP Working President JP Nadda today. They have supported me to strengthen the state government and I welcome it. pic.twitter.com/pE6hF22nFx
— ANI (@ANI) July 11, 2019
Sawant was asked to comment if BJP will drop any minister from its coalition partners to accommodate 10-newly joined Congress MLAs to which he said that the central leadership of the party will take a call in this regard.
Goa CM Pramod Sawant on being asked whether BJP will drop any minister from its coalition partners to accommodate 10-newly joined Congress MLAs: No decision taken yet. The central leadership will take the decision regarding this pic.twitter.com/q2dd6BlT9O
— ANI (@ANI) July 11, 2019
Among those Congress MLAs who joined the BJP on Wednesday are - Chandrakant Kavlekar, Isidore Fernandes, Francis Silveira, Filipe Neri Rodrigues, Jennifer, Atanasio Monserrate, Antonio Fernandes, Nilakanth Halarnkar, Clafacio Dias and Wilfred D`Sa.
The group of Congress leaders led by Kavlekar met Speaker Rajesh Patnekar in the evening to give a letter informing him about their decision, according to news agency ANI.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was also present when the entire group of legislators arrived at the assembly complex. Deputy Speaker of Legislative Assembly Michael Lobo was also present with them, reported ANI.
According to Goa BJP sources, Chandrakant Babu Kavlekar, who is the leader of opposition in the Goa Assembly, may be given the post of the deputy chief minister.
The development comes at a time when the Congress is trying hard to save its coalition government in Karnataka along with the JDS.
Reacting to the development, Goa Assembly Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo later said, ''BJP has got a clear mandate today. The number of MLAs is up to 27 and with this, we can do people`s work,"
The Goa Assembly has a total strength of 40 members - 17 (BJP), 15 (Congress), 1 (NCP), 1 (Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party), 3 (Goa Forward Party) and 3 (Independent). With the inclusion of 10 Congress MLAs, the strength of BJP has now risen to 27.