Goa CM allots additional portfolios to ministers

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Panaji, June 7 (IANS) All ministers barring Fisheries Minister Vinod Palienkar from the Goa Forward party, were allotted additional portfolios by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday.

After the list was informally released to the media, before being sent to Governor Mridula Sinha for endorsement, sources said that some ministers raised objections to being given petty portfolios, but Sawant remained firm and insisted that the additional portfolio allocation was final.

“There was resistance from the ministers from the coalition party Goa Forward, who said that they did not get prized portfolios. But CM insisted after a dialogue with the ministers that the list drawn up was final,” government sources said.

Palienkar’s exclusion from the list of ministers who were allocated additional portfolios, comes amid murmurs in the BJP-led coalition camp, that the Goa Forward MLA lawmaker could be dropped from the state cabinet altogether soon, to accommodate a new face in the cabinet, from one of the two senior MLAs, who were elected in the recently concluded round of Assembly bypolls in the coastal state.

Senior BJP ministers in the coalition government, which also comprises of the Goa Forward party and three Independent MLAs, were allotted most of the key ministries by Sawant.

BJP’s Health Minister Vishwajit Rane was allotted Law and Judiciary, Industries and Trade and Commerce ministries, Panchayats Minister Mauvin Godinho was allotted the Transport ministry, Power Minister Nilesh Cabral got the Environment, Science and Technology portfolios, Urban Development Minister Milind Naik was allotted the River Navigation and Provedoria ministries, while newly inducted BJP Ministers Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepauk Pauskar were allotted the Official Language, Public Grievances and Handicraft, Goa Gazetteer ministries respectively.

Among the non-BJP Ministers Deputy Chief Minister Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai was allotted the Forest Ministry, Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude was given the Co-operation portfolio, Housing Minister Jayesh Salgaocar was allotted the Museum ministry, while Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte Planning, Statistics and Evaluation.

The cabinet expansion was pending for over two months, but could not be executed because of the code of conduct which was in place for the round of state Assembly bypolls and the general elections.

–IANS

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