No decision yet on Goa cabinet reshuffle, says CM Pramod Sawant
Panaji, July 11: Even as the Congress-Janata Dal-Secular(JD-S) coalition struggles to save its rickety government in Karnataka, a political quake jolted the Congress party in neighbouring Goa on Wednesday when 10 of its 15 legislators switched to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on July 10.
The break-away faction also include the Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar. This took the BJP's tally in the 40-member Legislative Assembly to 27. The strength of the ruling coalition jumped to 33.
Speaking to ANI before leaving for Delhi along with 10 newly-inducted MLAs, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant replied to a question about the prospects of dropping any minister from its coalition partners to accommodate newly joined MLAs.
"No decision has been taken yet. The central leadership will take the decision regarding this", said Sawant.
He also said that the merger of MLAs has been unconditional.
"Ten MLAs along with their opposition leaders have merged into BJP. BJP's strength which was 17 has become 27 now. They have come for the development of the state and their constituency. They have not put any conditions. It is an unconditional merger", Goa CM said.
The group of Congress leaders led by Kavlekar met Speaker Patnekar in the evening to give a letter informing him about their decision.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was also present when the entire group of legislators arrived at the assembly complex. Deputy Speaker of Legislative Assembly Michael Lobo was also present with them.