In a surprising move, the Bharatiya Janata Party is following its former ally, Telugu Desam Party, in Goa. The BJP government in Goa had encouraged defection of 10 MLAs from the Congress, who have joined the TDP in the national capital the other day. The BJP government in Goa, which has now gained the strength of 27 in the 40-member Assembly.
Having gained absolute majority with the latest defections from the Congress, the BJP is now trying to reshuffle the cabinet giving berths to the defected legislators. In Andhra Pradesh, the TDP had engineered defections in the then Opposition party, YSR Congress, and admitted 23 MLAs into the party over a period of six months. Of the 23 defected MLAs, who continued to be counted as Opposition MLAs by the Assembly Speaker till the dissolution of the House, the TDP had inducted 4 defected MLAs into the Cabinet.
The BJP is now planning the same approach in Goa. At least three of the 10 defected MLAs are set to be sworn-in as Cabinet Ministers shortly. The defectors included the Congress Legislature Party leader, Chandrakanth, who is now tipped for deputy chief minister post. The Goa BJP government had decided to drop its incumbent deputy chief minister and president of Goa Forward Party, Vijaya Desai, as the BJP does not require this party any more to sustain its government. The party is also planning to drop some of the ministers to accommodate the defectors.