- Rebel Cong MLAs’ move stuns BJP ministers
Rebel Cong MLAs’ move stuns BJP ministers
GFP President and DyCM also says he was not aware of the development
PANJIM: The dramatic Wednesday evening that dazed the coalition partners - Goa Forward Party (GFP) and Independents with induction of Congress MLAs into the BJP fold - also stunned the ministers from the saffron cadre. The perplexed Ministers are trying to reason out Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant's sudden move that has changed the government set-up.
In a late evening development, which was mastered by Calangute MLA Michael Lobo, 10 Congress MLAs, including Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavalekar, merged its legislative wing with the BJP. The move not only shocked the alliance partners but also BJP Ministers, cadres and well wishers.
While GFP President and Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai is on record to state that he was not aware about the development, BJP Ministers, too, reacted in a similar manner.
"It is party's decision and we have to stay by it. But I was not aware about this move of the party," Power Minister Nilesh Cabral said adding “when CM and State leadership is back from Delhi, will have to check what resulted into this development.”
Curchorem MLA, however, personally felt that the Government has clear majority with support of alliance partners, who stood with BJP since 2017.
"Personally, I don't know the reason why they (party leadership) have to do this. I don't see the reason as a majority. With 10 MLAs coming, BJP with 27 legislators have got clear mandate in the House," he commented.
"But, we already had majority with support of GFP and Independents since the time we formed the government in 2017 under Manohar bhai (Parrikar). They supported Bhai and continued their support to Pramod Sawant," Cabral added further.
When contacted, Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said that it is the party decision and they are bound to accept it. "I don't want to comment as it is party's decision and being a loyal soldier of the party, I have to accept the decision," he said refusing to comment further.
Babu Ajgaonkar himself along with Minister Deepak Pawaskar had split and merged MGP legislative wing with BJP, two months back.
However, his close-aide said that Minister was shocked when he came to know about the development through media. "None of BJP Ministers were aware about CM’s decision," the person said.
Pawaskar on the other hand found it comfortable with the latest happenings. He believed that failure of opposition MLAs to do constituency work forced them to switch side to ruling. "When any MLA is elected, there are expectations from the people from him. If he fails the expectation then he has to face his/her people. So they have to go to the party in power," the PWD Minister said.
Another senior Minister reacted sharply and questioned as why the party MLAs are not taken into confidence.
"It is not a small decision but something big. However, unfortunately, except Lobo, none of BJP MLAs were aware about what is happening. It is not only being kept in dark but it is like having no trust on your own people," said the Minister, requesting anonymity.