New Delhi: Sawant asked three Goa Forward Party (GFP) ministers and one Independent MLA to resign from his ministry as he said he wants to induct four new faces into the cabinet to accommodate the Congress defectors.
"I have given a message to four ministers to resign from their posts on directions of high command. I have conveyed them what was I asked to," Sawant told ANI here.
Responding to Goa Forward Party's statement that they had joined the BJP-led state government after talks with the national leadership of the BJP, Sawant said: "We have already asked them to resign." Sawant has sought the resignation of four of his ministers as he wants to induct four new faces into the cabinet to accommodate the Congress defectors.
The ministers, whose resignations have been sought included three of GFP and an independent, have not complied with the demand immediately.
"I have asked GFP Minister Vijay Sardesai, Jayesh Salgaonkar and Vinod Palekar and one independent legislator to step down from their positions. I am inducting four new ministers in the cabinet, Sawant told ANI over phone.
Soon after the news surfaced in media, Goa Forward ministers took to the Twitter and wrote: "We are a part of the NDA and had joined the BJP-led state government after talks with the national leadership of the BJP. The present state BJP leaders were not part of the discussions then." "As such we will take appropriate steps only after talking with NDA leadership at the Centre. We have not yet received any official communication from BJP central leaders. On the contrary, we have received indications that the matter will be sorted out amicably," another tweet read.
On the night of July 10, Goa CM Sawant had arrived in Delhi along with 10 MLAs to meet senior party leaders including working President JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah to discuss strategy and further political developments.
Following this, the rebel MLAs joined the party in Delhi in presence of Working President J P Nadda and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant ahead of speculated induction of some of them in the state Cabinet next day.
With 10 MLAs changing the sides, the strength of Congress on the floor of the House has 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.