PANJIM: Even 24 hours after Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral resigned from the Cabinet, the BJP has not come up with an official reason why such a decision was taken. The question people are now asking is why Cabral was made a sacrificial lamb in favour of a rebel MLA, who had switched sides last year.
Though Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had stated that Cabral resigned from the Council of Ministers at the request of the BJP leadership, people feel the entire issue is much more deep and serious than what meets the eye.
When contacted, BJP media coordinator Premanand Mhambre said, “There is no question of removal. The party had decided to make Aleixo Sequeira a Minister, so someone had to resign. As a loyal party worker and on the instructions of the party high command and the chief minister, Cabral resigned. He (Cabral) had to obey the party’s decision and he protected the party’s interest.
Mhambre flatly denied the alleged corruption in PWD jobs recruitment was an issue for Cabral’s ouster, and claimed that the corruption charge was created by some media as somebody wanted to grind their own machine. They just twisted the facts, he said.
BJP spokesman Giriraj Pai Vernekar said, “It is the prerogative of the Chief Minister whom he will make a Minister. Issues are discussed in the party core committee from time to time but ultimately it is up to the chief minister. It is his prerogative.”
According to Vernekar, the Chief Minister himself has clarified that the corruption charges are just rumours. There is absolutely no truth and there is no scam as far as jobs are concerned. Party is very clear that there is absolutely no truth in the allegations and there is no scam as far as jobs are concerned.
Stating that Cabral was requested to make a sacrifice, Vernekar recalled that when Manohar Parrikar returned to State politics as chief minister post-2017 elections, it was Cabral who offered to resign as an MLA so Parrikar could contest by-poll.
However, that could hardly have been the reason to ask him to resign now since there is no question of any by poll.
But yet the buzz on the streets is that when a minister is removed, there needs to be a reason which appears more convincing than “party interest”.