Deputy Speaker of Goa assembly Michael Lobo on Saturday resigned from the post, paving the way for his induction into the Pramod Sawant-led cabinet. Lobo submitted his resignation to Speaker Rajesh Patnekar at noon. “I resigned from the post as I will be inducted into the cabinet later in the day,” Lobo said.
Apart from Lobo, Chandrakant Kavlekar, Philip Nery Rodrigues, Atanasio Monserratte, who had quit the Congress and joined the BJP on Wednesday, would be sworn in as ministers at Raj Bhavan in the afternoon.
The swearing-in ceremony of new ministers is scheduled to be held at 3 pm. Sawant would induct the new members into his cabinet by dropping three members of ally Goa Forward Party (GFP) and an Independent legislator as ministers.
This would the second cabinet reshuffle by Sawant since he took over as the chief minister three months ago. In his first cabinet reshuffle, Sawant had inducted MGP’s breakaway MLA Deepak Pauskar after dropping then deputy chief minister Sudin Dhavalikar.Asked why allies are being dropped from the cabinet, the chief minister said the decision has been taken as per directives of the central leadership. “I don’t want to go into details. We have taken this decision to give good governance to the people,” he said.
Ten of the 15 Congress MLAs, led by Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, switched sides and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday. While the 10 MLAs and Lobo returned to Panaji from Delhi, Sawant stayed back to attend a high-level meeting on Friday evening on the issue of mining in Goa, which has come to a standstill following a February 2018 Supreme Court order.
Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly Rajesh Patnekar on Saturday said the reshuffle of the state cabinet will have no bearing on the schedule of the monsoon session of the state legislature, which will commence from Monday.
He said the new ministers will have to study their respective portfolios before replying to the questions in the House. The monsoon session will end on August 9.