Dipak Pawaskar, who quit the regional Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, was inducted into the Goa Cabinet on Wednesday night.
Governor Mridula Sinha administered the oath of office at a ceremony held at Raj Bhavan around 11.35 pm. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said he will allot portfolio to Pawaskar on Thursday.
Two Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLAs – Pawaskar and Manohar Ajgaonkar – joined the BJP earlier on Wednesday. But the third MLA, Sudin Dhavalikar, did not. The chief minister sacked Dhavalikar, who was deputy chief minister, from the Cabinet soon after.
The BJP’s strength in the 40-member state Assembly increased to 14 – as many as the Congress – while the MGP is now down to just one lawmaker.
Following former Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s death, the BJP had scrambled to keep its alliance partners in the state happy in order to prevent the Congress from taking over the government. At the time, the Congress had 14 seats, while the BJP had only 12.