Panaji: Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant said late on Friday night (July 12) that he would reshuffle the Cabinet on Saturday (July 13) replacing four ministers and the swearing-in ceremony would be held at 3 pm.

Ten Congress MLAs had on Wednesday joined the BJP increasing the strength of the party to 27 on the floor of the House. Strengthened by their support, Sawant decided to drop the Goa Forward Party (GFP), a regional party that was instrumental in forming the Manohar Parrikar-led government in 2017.

Sawant said the three members from coalition partner GFP and an independent MLA Rohan Khaunte would be dropped from the Cabinet. He said the swearing-in ceremony would be held at 3 pm on Saturday.

This would be the second Cabinet reshuffle by Sawant since he took over as the chief minister three months ago. In his first Cabinet reshuffle, Sawant had inducted MGP's breakaway MLA Deepak Pauskar after dropping then deputy chief minister Sudin Dhavalikar.

The chief minister on Friday said that he had asked three GFP MLAs and Khaunte to resign from his ministry as he would be inducting four new ministers.

Chandrakant Kavlekar, Philip Nery Rodrigues, Atanasio Monserratte, who had joined the BJP on Wednesday and deputy Speaker Michael Lobo would be sworn in at Raj Bhavan in the afternoon.

Sawant said that four existing ministers — deputy chief minister Vijai Sardesai, water resources department minister Vinod Palyekar, rural development minister Jayesh Salgaonkar (all three GFP MLAs) and revenue minister Khaunte (independent) would be dropped from the cabinet.

"I don't want to go into details. We have taken this decision to give good governance to the people," he said.

Sawant has the support by three MLAs from the Goa Forward Party and an Independent.

GFP chief Sardesai had during the day said they are hoping for an amicable solution to the crisis.

"The GFP is a part of the NDA and had joined the BJP-led government after talks with the saffron party's national leadership," Sardesai said, adding, "The present state BJP leaders were not part of the discussions then. As such, we will take appropriate steps only after talking to NDA leadership at the Centre."

"We have not yet received any official communication from the BJP leaders. On the contrary, we have received indications that the matter will be sorted out amicably," he said.

Ten of the 15 Congress MLAs, led by leader of opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, switched sides and joined the BJP on Wednesday.

While the 10 MLAs and Lobo returned to Goa from Delhi, Sawant stayed back to attend a high-level meeting on Friday evening on the issue of mining in Goa, which has come to a standstill following a February 2018 Supreme Court order.