Babush sworn in as minister, rules out joining Congress

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Panaji, Aug 5 (UNI) Unattached Taleigao legislator Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate was sworn in as minister in the 12-member Goa cabinet, headed by chief minister Digambar Kamat, after finance minister Dayanand Narvekar submitted his resignation in deference to the wishes of the Congress High Command today.

Babush was administered the oath of office and secrecy by governor Shivendra Singh Sidhu, who himself had recently taken over the constitutional office.

Prominent among those who attended the swearing in ceremony included Mr Kamat, Rajya Sabha member Shantaram Naik, Leader of the Opposition Manohar Parrikar and four of his party legislators, NCP state unit president Dr Wilfred De Souza, revenue minister Jose Philip De Sousa (NCP), health minister Viswajit Rane (Independent), sports minister Manohar Azgaonkar and power minister Aleixo Sequeira.

Conspicuous by their absence were several ministers and legislators belonging to the Congress and transport minister Ramakrishna Davlikar (MGP), whose legislator brother Deepak, however, was present.

Interestingly, his rival the lone woman Congress legislator in the Assembly Victoria Fernandes, against whom he had pitted his wife in neighbouring Santa Cruz constituency in 2007 elections, hugged him and congratulated him at Raj Bhavan.

Interacting with mediapersons later, Babush ruled out joining the Congress to further strengthen the stability of the government.

He also maintained that there was no question of change in his policy towards IT projects.

He however stated that he would accept any portfolio offered by the chief minister as it was the latter's prerogative.

Asked whether he regreted attacking Panjim police station on February 19 and take vengeance against the cops who assaulted him in the episode, he said the question would not arise.

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