Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant dropped four ministers from his cabinet on Saturday and replaced them with three defectors from Congress and a BJP MLA.
Former opposition leader Chandrakant Kavalekar, former minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues and Jennifer Monserrate were administered oath of office by governor Mridula Sinha at Raj Bhavan. All three rebels were part of the 10-member Congress splinter group.
Calangute MLA and BJP leader Michael Lobo was also sworn-in as minister in the state cabinet.
Kavalekar, who led the Congress rebels to join the saffron party, is likely to be made deputy chief minister. He is a four-time MLA from Quepem.
Jennifer is the wife of Panaji MLA Atanasio Monserrate. Atanasio had wrested the seat from BJP which was represented by former chief minister Manohar Parrikar for nearly 25 years.
Rodrigues has served as a minister both in the BJP and Congress governments in the past.
Like Jennifer, Lobo has become a minister for the first time and has served as a deputy speaker.
Portfolios will be allocated to the four later in the day, sources said.
Chief minister Pramod Sawant, who took over the reins of the state following the demise of Parrikar, dropped three ministers of BJP’s ally – Goa Forward Party (GFP) – earlier in the day.
Deputy CM Vijai Sardesai, fisheries minister Vindo Paliencar, housing minister Jayesh Salgaonkar as well as Independent MLA from Porvorim Rohan Khaunte were dropped by the Sawant-led government.
Following Sardesai’s move, GFP said it would withdraw support to the government.
In the 40-member house, BJP has 27 MLAs, Congress five, GFP three, Independents three and NCP one.