Hours after two of the three MGP MLAs in Goa early on March 27 merged their party’s legislative wing with the BJP, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday dropped Deputy CM Sudin Dhavalikar, the third Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLA who had not signed the merger with the saffron party.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Wednesday claimed the two MGP MLAs who broke away from the party and joined the BJP did so for the stability of the state government.
Governor of Goa Mridula Sinha has accepted the recommendation of CM Pramod Sawant that Sudin Dhavalikar shall cease to be a minister in the Council of Ministers with immediate effect.
Legislators Manohar Ajgaonkar and Dipak Pawaskar gave a letter to merge the MGP legislature party with the BJP to officiating Goa Assembly Speaker Michael Lobo at 1.45 am.
Read | In midnight drama, 2 MGP MLAs in Goa split from party, merge legislative wing with BJP
While Ajgaonkar is tourism minister, Dhavalikar is the transport minister in the BJP-led state government in Goa.
As two out of the three MLAs have merged the legislative wing, they are saved from inviting anti-defection law, which makes it mandatory that two-thirds of the strength should agree for a merger.
The legislators broke away from the MGP and formed a group, MGP (two) on Tuesday. They have now merged the legislative unit with the BJP.
The mid-night political drama has increased the strength of the BJP from 12 to 14 in the 40-member House, bringing them on par with opposition Congress which has an equal number of MLAs on the floor.
The MGP is an alliance partner of the BJP in Goa since 2012.
Pawaskar had said that the decision to split the legislature party and merge it with the BJP was taken “in the interest of the people”.
He claimed that he would get a ministerial berth in the Sawant-led Cabinet.
MGP is an ally of the BJP in the Sawant government with all the three MLAs supporting him along with legislators from Goa Forward Party and Independents.
Newly appointed Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had last week won the floor test after 20 MLAs voted in his favour in the state assembly. Fifteen MLAs voted against the motion in the Goa assembly.
Of those who voted in favour of the motion, 11 were from BJP, 3 each from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Goa Forward Party and 3 Independents.
Sawant had taken oath as CM a little past midnight on March 19, along with Goa Forward Party’s Vijai Sardesai and MGP’s Sudin Dhavalikar as deputy CMs – a first in Goa.