Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday, was appointed the deputy chief minister of the state on Thursday.
The post got vacant after Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday sacked Sudin Dhavalikar and claimed that the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLA had failed to abide by the government’s common minimum programme. Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai is the other deputy chief minister.
Ajgaokar and another Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLA, Dipak Pawaskar, formed their own legislature wing and merged it with the BJP. But the third MGP legislator, Dhavalikar, did not. 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.
Sawant had said that his former deputy had placed his personal interest above the coalition. “One of the conditions in the common minimum programme was that no alliance partner would contest the Shiroda Assembly by-election,” Sawant had said.
The Lok Sabha polls and the Assembly bye-elections in Shiroda, Mandrem and Mapusa will be held on April 23.