Goa minister Michael Lobo on Monday resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party just a month ahead of the state Assembly polls, PTI reported. He said he was in talks with other parties.

Lobo, who represented the Calangute Assembly constituency and held charge of the state waste management department, gave his resignation to the Goa Assembly Speaker and the chief minister’s office.

“I have resigned from both the posts [of minister and MLA],” he said. “I will see what steps are to be taken next. I have also resigned from the BJP. The voters told me that the BJP is no more a party of the common people.”

He said that the saffron party was not taking forward the legacy of former Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, ANI reported. He claimed that the party workers who had supported Parrikar during his tenure were sidelined by the BJP.

Parrikar died of pancreatic cancer in 2019, three years before his tenure ended. Pramod Sawant was then appointed as the chief minister.

Lobo said that he was in talks with other political parties as he was upset with the treatment he allegedly received from BJP. “Whichever party I join, I will ensure that they win maximum seats,” he added.

The Election Commission on Saturday announced that Goa’s 40 Assembly constituencies would go to polls on February 14.

The BJP, Congress, Goa Forward Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Aam Aadmi Party, Trinamool Congress, and National Congress Party will be fielding candidates for the elections.

Meanwhile, BJP’s national executive member of Yuva Morcha, Gajanan Tilve, from Goa’s capital city Panaji on Sunday joined the Congress, NDTV reported.

“BJP’s motive is to do anything for power,” he said. “No principle exists in BJP. This party has now changed. This forced me to leave the party and join the Congress. I am hopeful that Congress will win with a majority to form the Government.”

However, BJP leader and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant ruled out the possibility of defections denting the party’s prospects in the upcoming elections. “A few defections, to fulfil the agenda of greed and personal interests cannot deter our agenda of Good Governance,” he tweeted.