Three days before the budget session of the Goa Legislative Assembly is scheduled to commence, Jose Philip D’Souza and Nilkanth Halarnkar, the two Nationalist Congress Party ministers in the Goa government, submitted their resignations as ministers to party supremo Sharad Pawar in New Delhi on Monday.
Both the ministers claimed that there is no development taking place in the State and left it to Sharad Pawar to decide about the future of the party in Goa.
According to NCP Goa President Surendra Sirsat, Sharad Pawar was impressed with the two ministers’ loyalty to the party and his decision would be conveyed through Praful Patel who is in charge of Goa.
Both Jose Philip and Nilkanth were asked to resign as ministers a couple of months back after they met some Congress Ministers and MLAs following rumours that one of them would be asked to step down as a minister to pave way for the other NCP MLA Micky Pacheco to be inducted in the cabinet.
Since then both had steadfastly refused to resign creating a divide within the NCP’s state unit even as Micky Pacheco kept building the pressure for his re-induction in the cabinet. Things came to such a head that Micky even threatened to quit the NCP if the due did not resign.
Micky had in fact succeeded in wooing many of the State unit executive committee members towards him and recently Surendra Sirsat was castigated for hobnobbing with the two ministers who were kept away from all party functions in Goa.
However, with the duo tendering their resignations just before the assembly session, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat is going to under pressure particularly since a lot of scams and wrongdoings in the revenue department which was under Jose Philip have been unearthed in recent times.