Stressing that the 10 former Congress MLAs joined BJP to save Goa, Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo said certain ministers in the BJP-led coalition were arm-twisting the government and trying to set their own agenda. “Some ministers were trying to dictate terms. They wanted to take their personal agenda forward. This was not acceptable to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. The 10 MLAs who have merged with the BJP have done so for the sake of Goa and for the people of the State,” Lobo said. He also indicated that these ministers were undermining the authority of the chief minister and in the name of common man were trying to fulfill their selfish needs. “They were doing whatever they wanted. Sometimes they did not even inform the chief minister. And at times, when the CM said ‘no’ they were threatening to turn the tables against the government,” he said. “The CM is the head of the cabinet and he cannot be undermined. He cannot be challenged in front of others or dictated to. There is supremacy and respect to that chair,” he added. The Deputy Speaker refused to take names but it was very obvious that he was referring to TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai and Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte.
Interestingly, Lobo was the man who was instrumental in bringing the two together and form the BJP-led coalition government soon after the assembly polls in 2017. “That time, we formed the government because these people spoke for Goans. But for the last two-and-half years, we have seen they were interested in completing their agenda in the name of the common man,” he told The Goan. He said the move to merge the 10 former Congress MLAs was to strengthen the BJP for smooth functioning of the government. “The government does not come under pressure of someone. When it is a coalition government, there is always a pressure. Now, the government will run smoothly,” he said. Lobo said the 10 MLAs, who have merged with the BJP, will prove to the people of Goa that they have taken the right step to see that those people who were trying to hurt the common men were out. He said he was aware the karyakartas were unhappy, but this was done for the sake of Goa.
…Asserts portfolio not important, will accept whatever is given to him
Quite aware that he would finally be crowned a minister, Calangute MLA Michael Lobo said his focus was to reach out to majority of Goans and therefore was least concerned what portfolio he would bag. “That (portfolio) is not important. Whatever they give me, I will take. What is important is that if I go inside I can help a lot of people of Goa and not only in my constituency,” Lobo said. He said working for the people of the State and fulfilling the commitments made to the people was crucial. “We have given a word to set up waste treatment plant in Baiguinim. We will take that ahead. Also, Sonsodo issue will be resolved 100 percent,” he said. He said there were many issues that needed to be resolved and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant would live up to the expectations of Goans. “There is the taxi issue. Mining and unemployment are also crucial. There are expectations of the people of Goa. We have absolute majority here and at the Centre. We will find a way out,” he said.