Four new ministers inducted into Goa cabinet, including ex-deputy Speaker Michael Lobo and three Congress defectors

Three of the 10 Congress legislators in Goa who switched to the BJP earlier this week, and former deputy Speaker Michael Lobo took oath as ministers on Saturday as Chief Minister Pramod Sawant dropped four ministers – three of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and one Independent – from his cabinet.

Apart from Lobo, Chandrakant Kavlekar, Jeniffer Monserratte and Philip Nery Rodrigues would be a part of the new cabinet. Kavlekar will replace Vijai Sardesai as deputy chief minister.

"I welcome these MLAs and want to thank them and urge them to work for the welfare for the people of Goa. Kavlekar, a former Leader of the Opposition, would be appointed deputy chief minister and a notification formally allocating portfolios to the four new inductees could be issued by Monday," said Sawant, with Kavlekar by his side.

Kavlekar said that Congress' internal politics forced him to change sides.

"I have taken this decision keeping the interest of my constituency in my mind. Not every work can be accomplished when you are in Opposition. We have given Congress a chance but internal politics of the Congress have forced us to take this step," he said.

"I want to thank honourable CM all the members of Bharatiya Janata Party who made this possible for me My first priority would be my constituency and the whole state of Goa," said Jennifer Monserrate.

 Four new ministers inducted into Goa cabinet, including ex-deputy Speaker Michael Lobo and three Congress defectors

Four ministers took oath in the Goa cabinet in presence of chief minister Pramod Sawant. ANI

Taleigao MLA Jeniffer Monserratte is the wife of Panaji MLA Atanasio Monserratte. Earlier there were speculations that he would be inducted into the cabinet.

Lobo said, "Atanasio Monserratte refused to take up the ministerial berth and instead requested the chief minister to make his wife a part of the cabinet."

On Friday, the chief minister had asked three legislators from the coalition partner, Goa Forward Party, and an independent legislator, Rohan Khaunte, to step down. Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai, Vinod Palienkar and Jayesh Salgaocar are the ministers from the Goa Forward Party (GFP), who were asked to resign.

However, the legislators had refused to quit and said they should be sacked by the chief minister if he wanted them to go.

"I have asked three GFP ministers and Khaunte to resign from the cabinet. I have given them the instructions as per the orders from my high command," Sawant was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

With inputs from ANI

Updated Date: Jul 13, 2019 23:22:02 IST