Goa BJP Minister Lobo Quits; Likely to Join Congress
Goa BJP strongman and Minister for Science and Technology, Michael Lobo on Monday resigned as a minister in the Pramod Sawant government. He is expected to join the Congress
Goa BJP strongman and Minister for Science and Technology, Michael Lobo on Monday resigned as a minister in the Pramod Sawant government. He is expected to join the Congress on Monday.
The much-anticipated exit of Michael Lobo, took place with his resigning as Calangute MLA. Speaking to the media, Lobo who is known to hold an influence across five assembly constituencies in Bardez taluka, along the coastal belt, says he has resigned as Goa minister and MLA with the hope that the people of Calangute constituency will respect his decision.
“Will have to see what step to take next. I am in talks with other political parties. I was upset with the way we're looked at and party workers are unhappy,” Lobo said, answering questions from the media, where he made it clear that if the late Manohar Parrikar were alive today, he would not have taken the decision to quit the BJP.
A two-time MLA from Calangute constituency, Lobo has been eyeing the neighbouring Siolim constituency ticket for his wife Delilah, who has been a sarpanch of Parra village in Lobo’s constituency. Delilah has already begun meeting supporters and launched her door-to-door campaign in Siolim, that was represented by the Goa Forward Party in the current outgoing assembly.
Michael Lobo is the first Minister to quit the BJP government in the run-up to the February 14 polls. BJP MLAs in the outgoing assembly, Alina Saldanha and Carlos Almeida are the other elected representatives from the ruling party to have quit before the polls. While Saldanha has joined AAP and been declared a candidate from Cortalim, Almeida has joined Congress and is hoping for a nomination from Vasco.
Lobo’s close aide Kedar Naik, sarpanch of Reis Magos village that falls in the Saligao constituency, too resigned from the BJP last week, citing the party’s disregard for loyal karyakartas (workers). Naik later joined the Congress and launched his own campaign in Saligao, where Lobo too was seen making his presence felt on Sunday.
Sudhir Kandolkar, another Lobo loyalist, who joined the Congress in 2019 and contested the by-election for the Mapusa constituency the same year, has already been announced as the Congress candidate for the same constituency.
Speaking to the media on the side lines of his campaigning last week, Lobo claimed that the BJP was no longer the party that was built up by the late Manohar Parrikar and that several of the late leader’s loyalists have been side-lined.
“The BJP was known as a party with a difference. It is known lately that it is not a party with a difference. Party workers have no importance in the party now. Chosen candidates of Parrikar are being side-lined by the party. There are some groups within the party who do not want well-wishers of Manohar Parrikar, who want to take his legacy forward within the party,” he had said.