Panaji, March 20: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday distributed portfolios among nine ministers, keeping crucial ones like Home for himself. The exercise is done ahead of the presentation of state budget on March 24, and four days after Parrikar won the Supreme Court-mandated floor test in the Legislative Assembly.
While Parrikar has retained majority of portfolios including crucial ones like Home, Finance, and Education, he has allotted one each to nine ministers. Former deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Francis D'Souza was given Urban Development portfolio while his party colleague Pandurang Madkaikar is assigned the charge of Power department.
Among the BJP's allies, the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party MLA Sudin Dhavalikar was given the charge of the Public Works Department, which he had headed in the previous BJP government headed by Laxmikant Parsekar. Another MGP leader Manohar Asgaonkar will be the Minister of Tourism in the new set of things.
All three MLAs of another BJP ally, the Goa Forward Party were also allotted ministries. While GFP MLA Vijai Sardesai was allotted Town and Country Planning, his party colleagues Jayesh Salgaoncar and Vinod Palyekar will head the ministries of Housing and Water Resources, respectively.
Three of the two Independent MLAs, namely Rohan Khaunte and Govind Gawade, are given the charge of departments of Revenue and the Art and Culture, respectively. Three MLAs each of the MGP and the GFP, besides three Independents are supporting the BJP-led coalition government, while NCP's Churchill Alemao is supporting from outside.
The Parrikar-led government was sworn in on March 14, two days after the BJP staked claim to form government in the coastal state despite having ended up second after Congress in Assembly polls. The BJP has 13 MLAs as against 17 of the Congress in the 40-member House.
The Parrikar government proved its majority on the floor of the House on March 16 by winning the trust vote with the support of 22 legislators.