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How Goa Dy CM Sudin Dhavalikar lost his post, portfolios and legislators — all in five days

Dhavalikar accused the BJP of trying to "wipe out" a regional party and said the people of Goa are watching

March 28, 2019 / 04:32 PM IST

Former Deputy Chief Minister of Goa and Maharashtra Gomantak Party (MGP) chief Sudin Dhavalikar was dropped from the state cabinet on March 27, only five days after he was sworn in to the post.

Goa CM Pramod Sawant recommended Dhavalikar's sacking to state Governor Mridula Sinha, who promptly accepted it.

From being the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) go-to man in Goa after the death of Manohar Parrikar to losing two of his legislators, his post and all of his portfolios, Dhavalikar has had quite a journey. And all within five days.

According to a report by The Indian Express, BJP roped in Dhavalikar to support the government under a new chief minister with three of his MLAs, including himself. While Dhavalikar, according to reports, had an eye on the top post for a long time, and had even demanded the post for himself after Parrikar's death, he took up the Deputy CM's post and reigned on it for the next five days.

However, in what Dhavalikar has called "midnight dacoity by chowkidars", the BJP had two of MGPs legislators join the BJP, paving way for the party to drop Dhavalikar from the Cabinet. The two MLAs who crossed over, Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar, said because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP has developed in Goa, and that is one of the reasons why they are joining the party. With the two MLAs joining the BJP ranks, BJP's strength in the Assembly has now reached 14, the same as Congress.


Dhavalikar, according to the Indian Express report, was visibly unimpressed. He accused the BJP of trying to "wipe out" a regional party, and said the people of Goa are watching, and they will decide on the "course of action".

However, Sawant defended the move, stating that Dhavalikar had fielded his own candidates in Shiroda, Mandrem and Mapusa, where bypolls are scheduled along with the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The bypolls were necessitated after sitting Congress legislators from Shiroda and Mandrem defected to the BJP. In case of Mapusa, the vacancy was created due to the death of legislator Francis D'Souza in February this year.

Sawant said the MGP fielding its candidates went against an understanding that the party had with the BJP. State president Vijay Tendulkar told the newspaper that the dropping of Dhavalikar was "inevitable".

"Dhavalikar had promised Parrikar that his party would not contest against us in the bypolls," Tendulkar said, adding that the MGP had repeated this promise to Union minister Nitin Gadkari after Parrikar's death. "But Sudin’s brother Deepak continues to campaign for the bypoll in Shiroda against BJP, even though we are coalition partners," Tendulkar said, adding that the two MGP MLAs had approached BJP "stating they want a stable government".

The legislators broke away from the MGP and formed a group, MGP (two) on March 26. They have now merged the legislative unit with the BJP.

According to news agency ANI, since 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 the merger.

In a dramatic fashion, the merger of the two MLAs happened in the wee hours of March 27, with Goa Speaker Michael Lobo asked to open his office and accept the letter of the two MLAs stating that they "constitute 2/3rds of the members of the legislature party".

The BJP on March 28 made Ajgaonkar, who holds the tourism ministry portfolio in the state government, the deputy chief minister of Goa.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 28, 2019 04:32 pm
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