BJP MLA and Goa minister Michael Lobo resigned from the Pramod Sawant-led cabinet on Monday, just ahead of the Assembly polls next month, stating that the BJP was “no longer a party for the common man”.
Lobo, who represented the Calangute Assembly constituency, submitted his resignations (as MLA and minister) to the chief minister’s office and the Goa Assembly’s Speaker.
“I have resigned from both the posts. I will see what steps are to be taken next. I have also resigned from the BJP,” Lobo, who headed the state waste management department told reporters.
While it is being speculated that he may be headed to the Congress, Lobo has confirmed that he is in talks with other political parties
“Whichever party I join, I will ensure that they win maximum seats,” he said.
Explaining his exit from the BJP, he said voters have lost faith in the party and that it is no more a party of the common people.
“The voters told me that the BJP is no more a party of the common people,” he said, while claiming that the grass-root level workers were feeling ignored by the party.
Lobo’s exit was being predicted as he had been critical of the party for the past few months and had commented that it no more follows the ideals on which former chief minister Manohar Parrikar had built it in Goa.
He had also alleged that loyalists of Parrikar (who died in 2019), were being sidelined under the Pramod Sawant regime.
Lashing out at Chief Minister Pramod Sawant last month, he said, “The BJP was known as a party with a difference. It is known lately that it is not a party with a difference. Party workers have no importance in the party now.”
Lobo’s departure could hamper the party’s prospects in the Bardesh region of Goa, which has six assembly seats including Calangute.
The Election Commission of India on Saturday announced that elections to all 40 Assembly constituencies in Goa would be held on February 14. The BJP, Congress, Goa Forward Party (GFP), Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Trinamool Congress Party (TMC), and NCP are the main political parties in the fray.