Goa BJP bats for Congress MPs left out of Cabinet rejig

In a rare gesture, ruling BJP in Goa has pitched for Cabinet berths for Congress MPs while slamming the Centre for "neglecting" the coastal state in recent reshuffle of Union Council of Ministers.

"Both the MPs Shantaram Naik (RS) and Fransisco Sardinha (LS) are much better than those found place in the UPA-II government," BJP Goa spokesman Dr Wilfred Mesquita told reporters yesterday.

His statement came a day after opposition Congress moved a resolution during its Panaji convention demanding berth to at least one of the two MPs.

"It would be highly appreciated if Congress had given Goa a representation in the Cabinet. It is unfortunate that Goa was neglected (in reshuffle)," he said.

Taking a dig at Centre, Mesquita said, "It seems Congress has given up Lok Sabha seats in Goa even before the race (for 2014 elections) has started".

Out of three MPs Goa sends to Parliament, two are from Congress and one from BJP.

While Shantaram Naik is one of the staunch Congress

loyalists, former chief minister Sardinha had switched allegiance once forming a faction within the government sharing power with BJP in the past.

Sardinha returned to Congress ahead of 2009 general elections and went on to win Mormugao constituency.

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