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Uncertain future awaits for BJP's allies in Goa

July 11, 2019 19:46 IST

The induction of ten Congress MLAs into the Bharatiya Janata Party in Goa has put a question mark on the fate of the saffron party's allies, with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant saying that no decision has been taken about them yet.

IMAGE: BJP Working President JP Nadda with Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant (yellow shirt), Chandrakant Babu Kavlekar, the leader of opposition in the Goa assembly, and other Goa Congress rebel MLAs, in New Delhi. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/PTI Photo

With the BJP's strength in the 40-member Goa assembly increasing to 27 with two-thirds of Congress legislators joining it, the Sawant government does not need allies' support any longer.

Sawant, who is in the national capital along with the 10 MLAs, met party president Amit Shah on Thursday.

 

"We have not taken any decision on coalition partners. We will take the decision when we return to Goa," Sawant said.

It is believed that Sawant and Shah discussed cabinet reshuffle.

Sawant will have to drop some of the current ministers to accommodate the defectors from the Congress.

Three MLAs of the Goa Forward Party and as many independents are part of the BJP-led coalition in the coastal state. All three MLAs of GFP including its chief Vijai Sardesai and independents Rohan Khaunte and Govind Gawade are part of Sawant's cabinet.

The 2017 assembly polls threw up a hung assembly with Congress emerging as the single largest party with 17 MLAs.

However, a quick-footed BJP, with 13 MLAs, managed to form government with the help of GFP, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and independents.

In March this year, two of the three MGP MLAs joined the BJP, while senior MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar, then deputy chief minister, was dropped from the cabinet.

Sardesai, who is deputy chief minister, said on Thursday that his party remained "steadfast with this government in good and bad times". 

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