Goa CM Pramod Sawant drops four ministers from cabinet

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. Photo: PTI

Ahead of a reshuffle of the state cabinet, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant dropped four ministers — three of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and one Independent — from his cabinet on Saturday. A notification to this effect was issued in the afternoon.

According to the notification, the four ministers — Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai, Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar, Rural Development Minister Jayesh Salgaonkar (all GFP MLAs) and Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte (Independent) — were dropped from the cabinet.

They would be replaced with Michael Lobo, who resigned as Deputy Speaker of Assembly earlier in the day, and three of the 10 MLAs, who switched over to the BJP from the Congress on Wednesday.

Lobo said apart from him, Chandrakant Kavlekar, Jeniffer Monserratte and Philip Nery Rodrigues would be a part of the new cabinet. Taleigao MLA Jeniffer Monserratte is the wife of Panaji MLA Atanasio Monserratte. Earlier there were speculations that he would be inducted into the cabinet.

Lobo said, “Atanasio Monserratte refused to take up the ministerial berth and instead requested the chief minister to make his wife a part of the cabinet.” The swearing-in ceremony of new ministers is scheduled to be held at 3 pm.