As Pramod Sawant parades recently acquired MLAs before Central leadership, is Goa Cabinet set for rejig?
The options being looked at are a creation of a post of Deputy Chief Minister or awarding a couple of these legislators with substantial ministries in the Sawant cabinet, as per sources
As Goa Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant parades the eight recently acquired legislators from the Congress before the central leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party it is believed that the state cabinet may be rejigged soon to fulfill the aspirations of new entrants.
Apart from meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, these turncoat MLAs are also expected to meet several senior leaders likely among them are BJP chief JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The consolidation of the BJP in Goa is expected to help the saffron unit ensure the retaining of both Lok Sabha seats in the state as it tries to regain the third consecutive term at the Centre in 2024.
With BJP and Congress being the two top parties vying for votes, the assimilation of almost the entire Congress into the BJP’s fold is expected to help remove any opposition hurdle ahead of the 2024 general elections in the state.
The BJP came back to power in the 40-member Goa Assembly, polls for which were held earlier this year. The Sawant government held the majority with 25 seats, 20 BJP, 2 from Mahashtrawadi Gomantak Party and three independents.
However, as part of the strategy to decimate Congress in the state, the BJP continued its parleys with the Congress leaders., finally being successful in breaking the party and merging eight sitting legislators into its fold. On September 14, all eight MLAs joined the BJP. With this, the Sawant government now commands over two-thirds majority in the house as its count rose to 33.
The new entrants are expected to be accommodated soon so that any chance of fueling any discontent among them can be addressed, sources said. The options being looked at are a creation of a post of Deputy Chief Minister or awarding a couple of these legislators with substantial ministries in the Sawant cabinet, sources added.
Rise of Pramod Sawant in Goa
The stature of Dr. Pramod Sawant has increased after the latest switch by Congress MLAs to the BJP. This is probably the first time that someone has been able to associate the BJP in Goa with anyone apart from the late Manohar Parrikar. Sawant, who was till now considered a novice to state politics has successfully stepped outside the shadow of Parrikar and taken the saffron unit to its best-ever tally in the Assembly.
With the backing of BJP's central leadership, Sawant ensured the success of his poaching over Congress and kept it under wraps till the last moment. He has also been lauded and received the full support of the BJP's top leadership for his steady role at the top and keeping its Goa flock together, sources said. Goa is notorious for MLAs switching sides over a drop of the hat.
The party which was till now struggling to find a replacement for Parrikar in Goa seems to have found a leader in Dr. Pramod Sawant.