Governor Mridula Sinha on Saturday administered the Oath
of Office to four new ministers namely Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavlekar, Jennifer
Monserrate, Filipe Neri Rodrigues and Michael Lobo, thus inducting them in the
Pramod Sawant-led Bharatiya Janata Party government.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Chief Secretary Parimal
Rai were present at the ceremony held at Raj Bhavan. All the four ministers
chose to be sworn-in in English.
Later, the Chief Minister announced that Kavlekar would
be the Deputy Chief Minister in his cabinet. The Chief Minister also said that
the notification as regards the allocation of portfolios to new ministers would
be issued July 15 morning.
Earlier in the day, the three Goa Forward MLAs, Vijai
Sardesai, Jayesh Salgaonkar and Vinod Paliencar, and independent legislator
Rohan Khaunte resigned from the cabinet.
Kavlekar, Monserrate and Lobo are first-time ministers,
while Neri has been a minister in the past.
Later speaking to the media, the Chief Minister said that
he has dropped the four ministers from the state cabinet as per the
instructions of the BJP central leadership, and inducted new ones in his
cabinet. “Now we have a majority government of BJP in Goa, which can be termed
as the government of Goans and Goemkarponn in the real sense,” he added, hoping
that the new ministers would dedicate their time and loyalty to the people of
the state, and complete the developmental works as fast as possible.
Speaking further, Sawant said that the new ministers
would be fully prepared to reply to the questions of the MLAs, during the
monsoon session of the state legislative assembly, which commences from July
Replying to a question, the Chief Minister said that he
wanted to streamline the state administration and replacement of the four
ministers was a part of this endeavour. “In turn, we have now got 10 MLAs of
the BJP and they are with us unconditionally,” he noted.
Sawant, answering another question, stated that the
induction of Jennifer Monserrate in his cabinet was not the last-minute
induction. He also said that there would be no more reshuffle in his government
in the future.
In response to a gathering organised by the former
ministers of the Goa Forward Party as well as Rohan Khaunte, the Chief Minister
said that a report has been sought about the same, and he could speak about
this gathering only after going through the said report.
Kavlekar, speaking on the occasion, said that he and his
nine colleagues from the Congress Legislature Party joined the BJP for the
development of their respective constituencies. “In fact, our voters were
always asking us how long we would be in the opposition, and when the works in
our constituencies would be completed,” he maintained.
After the swearing-in ceremony, the newly inducted
ministers visited the BJP office in the city. They were led by the Chief
Minister and state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar.
The MLA of Taleigao and the newly-inducted minister in
the state cabinet Jennifer Monserrate said that she will try and make her
departments more people-friendly. She also thanked the Bharatiya Janata Party
for the responsibility, which has been entrusted to her.
“I promise to work with diligence and work hard with the
portfolios given to me. I will meet the Secretary of my portfolios and get hold
of what has happened so far in these portfolios, and would pick up from there.”
Speaking to the pressmen after the swearing-in ceremony,
Monserrate further said, “I will prefer to make my departments more
people-friendly as this goes all the way through grassroots level. I will try
and dispose whatever cases are there and generally work for the betterment of
Goa and its people,” she noted.
The only lady minister in the state cabinet said that
it’s a new experience and that it would take some time to adjust. “I will make
sure, I get along well with everybody and take everyone forward, while taking
the opinion of the Chief Minister,” she said, concluding, “I am thankful to the
Chief Minister for the position he has given me in the BJP.
Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues said that the decision to
join the Bharatiya Janata Party was a conscious and collective decision. He
said that his efforts would be to see a balanced development across the state.
“We have taken a conscious and collective decision after duly considering our
political future and the entire political scenario across the country as well
as in Goa,” said Rodrigues while reacting to media queries on his decision as
well as that of his colleagues to join the BJP.
He further said, “We are very much comfortable in this
government. We have to see that development has to be balance development
across the state, this is our whole idea. As a minister I will see that the
benefit of the government reaches across the state.”
Source:: The Navhind Times