PANAJI: Unattached MLA of the United Goans Democratic Party’s (UGDP) Atanasio Monserrate was on Tuesday inducted into the Congress-led coalition government of Digambar Kamat.
Mr. Monserrate was administered oath of office and secrecy by Governor S. S. Sidhu at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday. Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and most of his Cabinet colleagues were present.
Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Dayanand Narvekar resigned after several days of persuasions from the party to make way for induction of Mr. Monserrate in the Cabinet.
Mr. Monserrate’s induction happens to be the third reshuffle of the nearly 14-month-old government of Mr. Kamat, which is perennially afflicted by internal dissensions and faced two major toppling attempts within a year of its coming to power.
Having been a Minister in the earlier Bharatiya Janata Party-led as well as subsequent Congress-led coalition governments, Mr. Monserrate, a controversial politician, who has changed parties quite frequently, is facing a police case for alleged involvement in inciting violent crowds to stone the State police headquarters in February this year. Mr. Monserrate and his family members were beaten up in retaliatory response by the police.
Welcoming the resignation of Mr. Narvekar, Mr. B. K. Hariprasad , AICC general secretary, said on Tuesday, “we are very much thankful to him for sacrificing for the cause of the party.” Mr. Hariprasad, played a key role in averting a crisis in the government by persuading a defiant Narvekar to resign.
Mr. Narvekar happens to be the second Congress Minister who had to quit in last six months to allow the Congress fulfil the promises made by it to supporting groups and MLAs during the last political crisis to save the government.
A few months ago, another reluctant Congress Minister Pandurang Madkaikar had to quit to make way for Mr. Ramkrishna Dhavlikar of the MGP, another two-member regional alliance partner, who had switched sides in the times of crisis.