Panaji: Four ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Vijay Sardesai and an Independent, have been sacked from the Goa Ministry paving the way for the inclusion of Congress defectors into the Cabinet.
"The Governor of Goa is pleased to accept the recommendation of Chief Minister, that Vijay Sardesai, Rohan Khaunte, Vinod Paliencar, and Jayesh Salongakar shall cease to be the Members of Council of Minister headed by the Chief Minister with immediate effect," said a Raj Bhavan statement.
This development comes as 10 Congress MLAs switched sides to join BJP and some of them would be inducted into the Cabinet at a swearing-in ceremony later in the day. Along with three Congress defectors, BJP Leader Michael Lobo, who resigned from the post of Deputy Speaker, will also join the cabinet as a minister.
Earlier, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant sought the resignation of four of his ministers - three of Goa Forward Party and an independent--but they refused to give it. Speaker Rajesh Patnekar has said that the Assembly will function as per schedule.
"Though new ministers are being inducted, the Assembly will go on as per schedule. The new ministers will have to study their portfolios while answering the questions on the floor of the House. As far as I am concerned there is no rescheduling of the and Congress party will have to give the name of Leader of Opposition by Monday," Patnekar told ANI.
On the night of July 10, Chief Minister Sawant had arrived in Delhi along with 10 MLAs to meet senior BJP leaders including working president JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah to discuss the developments.
Following this, the rebel MLAs joined the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the speculated induction of some of them in the state cabinet. With 10 MLAs changing the sides, the strength of Congress on the floor of the House has reduced to a mere five.
The MLAs who defected include - Kavlekar, Isidore Fernandes, Francis Silveira, Filipe Neri Rodrigues, Jennifer, Atanasio Monserrate, Antonio Fernandes, Nilakanth Halarnkar, Clafacio Dias and Wilfred D`Sa.