Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte who resigned, to join BJP on Friday ahead of Goa Election 2022
Khaunte became the latest MLA to jump ship to the saffron party after Congress MLAs Ravi Naik, Luizinho Faleiro and Goa Forward Party MLA Jayesh Salgaonkar had resigned in the run-up to the polls.
Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte, who had served as a minister, and resigned from the Goa Legislative Assembly months ahead of the elections on Wednesday is all set to join BJP on Friday.
Khaunte met Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar on Wednesday afternoon to tender his resignation as an MLA. He had represented the Porvorim Assembly segment two times as an Independent.
“I have resigned today. We will decide the next step soon after consulting my workers,” Khaunte had said soon after tendering his resignation. Asked whether he would join the ruling BJP, Khaunte said: “Political situation is changing with the entry of new political parties, which are setting up shops selling their toys in Goa.”
After much dilly-dallying and even announcing his decision to stay unattached with any party, Khaunte on Tuesday had taken a decision to join BJP. Khaunte held a meeting with his strong supporters on Tuesday ahead of resigning to join the BJP.
With Khaunte's resignation, Goa House's strength is now reduced to 36 from 40.
Khaunte is the third MLA to resign over the last one month, apart from former Chief Minister Ravi Naik, who resigned as Congress MLA and later joined BJP and Goa Forward MLA Jayesh Salgaokar, who quit the Goa Forward party to also join BJP.
During the last assembly elections, former chief minister Manohar Parrikar had extensively campaigned in Porvorim against Khaunte. But soon after the results were declared, Khaunte, who won the seat, extended support to Parrikar helping him form a coalition government. Khaunte was made the revenue minister for his support.
Even after the demise of Parrikar, Khaunte continued to support Pramod Sawantled government and remained revenue minister till he was dropped from the cabinet in 2019 after the induction of 10 Congress MLAs into BJP.