Panaji | Jagran News Desk: Days after ten Congress MLAs switched to BJP in Goa, three of them have found a place in the cabinet as Chief Minister Pramod Sawant dropped three members of ally Goa Forward Party (GFP) and an Independent legislator as ministers.

Congress rebels Chandrakant Kavlekar, Jennifer Monserrate and Filipe Nery Rodrigues were sworn in as Ministers in the Goa Cabinet on Saturday.

Kavlekar, a former leader of Opposition, is likely to be appointed as the deputy chief minister. The lone BJP minister to be sworn-in is Michael Lobo, who resigned as Deputy Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly earlier in the day.

Earlier, Sawant had asked three MLAs from Goa Forward Party and an independent candidate Rohan Khaunte, to step down. Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai, Vinod Palienkar and Jayesh Salgaocar are the ministers from the Goa Forward Party, who were told to quit.

"I have asked three GFP ministers and Khaunte to resign from the cabinet. I have given them the instructions as per the orders from my high command," said Sawant.

Meanwhile, the GFP on its Twitter handle said that the matter will be "sorted out amicably".

"@Goaforwardparty is part of the NDA and had joined the BJP-led state government after talks with the national leadership of the @BJP4India. The present state BJP leaders were not part of the discussions then. (1/2)," the party said in a tweet.

"As such we will take appropriate steps only after talking with the NDA leadership at the centre. We have not yet received any official communication from the @BJP4India central leaders. On the contrary, we have received indications that the matter will be sorted out amicably. (2/2)," the party added.

Earlier, Goa deputy speaker, Michael Lobo had also resigned from his post. He submitted his resignation to Speaker Rajesh Patnekar at noon.

This was another blow for Congress as the BJP's strength has increased from 17 to 27 in the Legislative Assembly of Goa.

With 10 MLAs changing sides, the strength of Congress on the floor of the House was reduced to mere five.

The MLAs who changed sides include Kavlekar, Isidore Fernandes, Francis Silveira, Filipe Neri Rodrigues, Jennifer, Atanasio Monserrate, Antonio Fernandes, Nilakanth Halarnkar, Clafacio Dias and Wilfred D'Sa. 

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma