Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of the 10 Goa Congress MLAs on Friday, Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo said that cabinet reshuffling in the state will take place according to the directions of the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. Commenting on reshuffling of cabinet, Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo said, “After the merger of Congress MLAs with BJP, the Chief Minister told that he was unhappy with functioning of certain Ministers as they were taking people for granted. They were acting as if they were the government. The CM will do the correction that is needed.” Deputy Speaker also said the Chief Minister cannot be taken for granted. He has taken decision in the interest of Goa and knows what he is doing. The 10 MLAs would also meet BJP chief and Home Minister Amit Shah before leaving for home. With this, the Congress party which is grappling for survival in Karnataka, has suffered yet another blow on the formal induction of its 10 MLAs into the BJP, taking the party’s strength from 17 to 27 in the Legislative Assembly.
On Wednesday, Sawant arrived Delhi along with 10 MLAs to meet Shah to discuss strategy and further political developments. With 10 MLAs changing the sides, the strength of Congress on the floor of the House was reduced to mere five. These MLAs include — Kavlekar, Isidore Fernandes, Francis Silveira, Filipe Neri Rodrigues, Jennifer, Atanasio Monserrate, Antonio Fernandes, Nilakanth Halarnkar, Clafacio Dias and Wilfred D’Sa.
Deputy speaker Michael Lobo said the decision of merging the splinter group of the Congress was finalised after seeking feedback from the Centre. “As a BJP member and party MLA, we have to work with the chief minister. So after taking necessary feedback from the Centre, this progress and merger has taken place. Two-thirds of the legislature wing of the Congress has merged,” Lobo said while speaking to mediapersons. “Everything has been done by the chief minister. I am there with him. Let him decide,” he said. The deputy speaker said BJP has got 27 MLAs on their own. When questioned if any of the Goa Forward Party ministers will be dropped, Lobo said, “I do not know anything about GFP. Our job is to work with the party, which we have done. We have always taken the lead to strengthen the party.” “Dropping anyone from the cabinet is the prerogative of the chief minister. He will decide tomorrow,” the deputy speaker added. He also said all the newly-joined MLAs will go to Delhi to meet the party president and also the working president. “Let the party high command, Goa BJP core group, ministers, MLAs and the legislature party decide on the way forward. We have three more years to go,” Lobo said