Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said he had asked four ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai, to resign from their Cabinet posts, The Indian Express reported. Sawant also said that Chandrakant Kavlekar, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party after quitting the Congress, will replace Sardesai.
“I have asked Goa Forward ministers and independent Rohan Khaunte to resign,” Sawant told The Indian Express. “Newly Inducted Chandrakant Kavlekar will be the deputy chief minister.”
On Thursday, 10 former Congress MLAs joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of the party’s Working President JP Nadda.
Three Goa Forward Party ministers Vijai Sardesai, Jayesh Salgaonkar, Vinod Paliencar have been asked to resign along with independent MLA Rohan Khaunte. Along with Kavlekar, three new BJP MLAs and Goa Assembly Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo have been inducted into the Cabinet.
However, the Goa Forward Party, which is an alliance partner of the BJP, denied any official communication about Sawant’s order. “We haven’t received any official communication from BJP central leaders,” Sardesai said. “Our party is part of NDA [National Democratic Alliance], joined BJP-led state government after talks with the national leadership. The present state BJP leaders were not part of the discussion.”
The new MLAs will take oath as ministers at 3 pm on Saturday, The Indian Express reported.