Ex-Cong men Rane, Godinho get berth in Parrikar cabinet
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday inducted former Congress leaders Vishwajit Rane and Mauvin Godinho into his cabinet, raising the strength of his ministry to twelve. Rane, who had won the Valpoi assembly seat on a Congress ticket in the February 4 state polls, had quit the party and joined the ruling BJP last week.
Godinho, who is the BJP MLA from Dabolim constituency, had joined the saffron party in December last year, months before the assembly polls. They were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Mridula Sinha at Raj Bhavan.
After the induction, Parrikar said that a meeting with alliance partners will be held on April 17 or 18 to adopt a Common Minimum Programme.
"We had announced that the Common Minimum Programme would be adopted within a month. We will meet on April 17 or 18 to discuss it with the coalition partners," Parrikar told reporters.
With the induction of Rane and Godinho, the total number of ministers (including Parrikar himself) has gone up to twelve- five from the BJP, three from Goa Forward Party (GFP), two from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and two independents. Parrikar had inducted nine of the ministers in the first phase on March 14.
Both Rane and Godinho were ministers in the Congress-led governments in the past.
Rane had quit the Congress and resigned his assembly membership after the party failed to form the government in Goa despite emerging as the single largest bloc winning 17 seats in the 40-member Assembly. Rane, son of Congress veteran Pratapsinh Rane (who himself won his 11th term as a legislator in the last polls), defied the Congress whip to vote against the trust motion brought by Parrikar by absenting himself from the House. He joined BJP last week in the presence of Parrikar and other leaders.
Rane had served as Health minister in the Digambar Kamat-led Congress government between 2007-2012.
Godinho, who has been representing Dabolim assembly constituency since 1994 (till date), was a minister in the Pratapsinh Rane-led cabinet. He was also was the Deputy Speaker of Goa Assembly during the Digambar Kamat-led government.
Talking to reporters, Parrikar said coalition parties (GFP and MGP) attended the NDA meeting held recently in New Delhi. "There are times when we have to match our agenda with that of alliance partners. Such meetings help to match the agenda," he said.