Mon, 15 Jul, 2019

... Will quit only if Shah tells us: Vijai

13th July 2019, 02:50 Hrs

the goan I network

MARGAO   

In a turn of political events, the three Goa Forward ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai is believed to have told Chief Minister Pramod Sawant that they would quit the Cabinet only if the request comes from BJP national president and Home Minister Amit Shah.   

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is believed to have called up the Deputy Chief Minister and explained to him the latest political developments and the decision taken by the party seeking resignations of three Goa Forward ministers. In reply, Vijai is believed to have told the Chief Minister that though it was his prerogative to induct or drop any minister from his Cabinet, the message should be conveyed by BJP Chief Amit Shah as Goa Forward is part of the NDA.  

Later, in a statement issued by Vijai, he said the Goa Forward Party is 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 the NDA leadership at the centre,” he said.   

Saying that the Goa Forward has not yet received any official communication from the BJP central leaders on the question of quitting from the ministry, Vijai said “on the contrary, we have received indications that the matter will be sorted out amicably”.   

He pointed out that the coalition government was formed by the Goa Forward with the BJP in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah and then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. “Let the BJP national president tell us that the Goa Forward Party should not be part of the Pramod Sawant-led Cabinet since we are also members of the NDA,” he added.   

Sources in the know say 

the Goa Forward supremo is believed to be in touch with BJP leaders who have access to BJP President Amit Shah. In fact, a senior BJP leader is believed to have discussed the Goa Forward position vis-à-vis the coalition government with Amit Shah, after which a message was conveyed to the Goa Forward leaders that the three Ministers should not put in their papers till a final decision is taken by Amit Shah.   

Sources also say the Goa Forward Party leaders appear to be working as part of a game plan since the regional party is aware that it’s the prerogative of the Chief Minister to induct or remove any Minister from his cabinet.   

Till 7 pm on Friday, there was no communique from the BJP national president to the Goa Forward leaders and neither was there any news that the government would drop the three GF ministers from the Cabinet.   

In the meantime, the residence of Vijai at Davondem was the cynosure of all eyes as the two ministers Vinod Palienkar and Jayesh Salgaokar walked in at the residence around noon. They were holed up inside the house till evening and the party leaders are believed to have taken stock of the situation arising out of the decision of the 10 Congress MLAs to join the BJP.   

It is believed that the leadership in Goa Forward has told its flock to be prepared for any eventuality on the back of tally touching 27 seats in the Assembly following the entry of 10-member Congress group into the BJP.