Panaji: The Pramod Sawant-led Goa Cabinet sported new faces after four former ministers, which included a few who had left the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the state polls, missing from the new government.
Eight state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders along with the Chief Minister took oath at a grand swearing-in ceremony here which was also attended by top party brass, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Jennifer Monserrate, Filipe Rodrigues, Michael Lobo and Deepak Pauskar were ministers in the previous council of ministers, but are now out of the government.
Jennifer Monserrate, who was the only woman Minister in the first term of Sawant as the Chief Minister, had looked after the departments of Revenue, IT, Labour and Employment. She was the first woman MLA to be elected from Taleigao constituency for two successive terms.
Filipe Nery Rodrigues, who had joined the BJP in 2019, was elected as a member of the Goa Legislative Assembly from Congress in 2017. Michael Lobo had joined Congress in January this year, just ahead of the Goa Assembly elections 2022.
On the other hand, Deepak Pauskar had served as the Goa Minister for Public Works. However, he had resigned from the position as well as the party after the BJP denied him the ticket in the polls.
Pramod Sawant took oath as the Goa Chief Minister for the second consecutive term at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in the coastal state today.
Following Sawant taking the oath, the BJP leaders Vishwajit Rane, Mauvin Godinho, Ravi Naik, Nilesh Cabral, Subhash Shirodkar, Rohan Khaunte, Govind Gaude, and Atanasio Monserrate were also sworn in as Goa’s cabinet ministers.
Former Goa Ministers Vishwajit Rane, Mauvin Godinho, Nilesh Cabral managed to stay in the newly sworn in government.
However, the list also includes four fresh faces — Rohan Khaunte, Ravi Naik, Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate, and Subhash Siralkar.
The key attendees at the oath ceremony included Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP president JP Nadda, Haryana CM ML Khattar and Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
Before Sawant, Goa for the Bharatiya Janata Party had all been about the former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who had also served as Union Minister for Defence.
In the recently concluded state Assembly polls, the BJP emerged as the single largest party in Goa, winning 20 seats in the 40-member state Assembly and reducing Congress to 11 seats.
The BJP fell one seat short of the majority figure in Goa but is set to retain power in the state with the help of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and independent candidates.
In 2017, Congress had emerged as the single largest party in the state, winning 17 seats but the BJP, which won 13 seats, managed to form the government with the support of the Goa Forward Party and the MGP which had won three seats each, and two independents.