In another late-night drama in Goa, several ministers did not attend the swearing-in ceremony of Dipak Pawaskar, who was inducted into the state Cabinet after he quit the Maharahstrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and joined the BJP on Wednesday. Pawaskar and another MGP MLA, Manohar Ajgaonkar, quit the regional party and joined the BJP in the early hours of Wednesday. Goa Governor Mridula Sinha administered the oath of office and secrecy to Pawaskar at a ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan here around 11.35 pm.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was present at the Raj Bhawan during the swearing-in ceremony. Dipak Pawaskar was inducted into the Goa Cabinet after deputy chief minister and lone MGP MLA Sudin Dhavalikar was dropped from the Cabinet earlier in the day. Except for ministers Nilesh Cabral, Govind Gawade and Ajgaonkar, nobody else from the Goa Cabinet was present at the swearing-in ceremony of Pawaskar.
Gawade an Independent legislator is culture minister, while BJP leader Cabral holds the law portfolio. Ajgaonkar is tourism minister in the Goa government.
Legislators and members of BJP ally Goa Forward Party, two other Independent MLAs, who support the Sawant government, and a majority of BJP ministers did not attend the ceremony.
Pawaskar and Ajgaonkar after splitting from the MGP, formed their own legislature wing and merged it with the BJP.
Dhavalikar’s portfolios of transport and public works will now be looked after by Chief Minister Sawant.
(With PTI inputs)