"Anyone can hold anyone's hand but in 2022, there is going to be a BJP government in Goa once again," said Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

GOA CHIEF Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said prominent leaders from Goa were expected to join the BJP in the coming days. “Eight to nine big leaders from Goa may join the BJP in the days ahead. We will welcome them all,” Sawant said at the induction ceremony of Jayesh Salgaonkar, former MLA from Saligao who left the Goa Forward Party (GFP) a day ago and submitted his resignation to the Speaker of the Goa legislative Assembly.

Salgaonkar quit the GFP that announced earlier this week that it would support the Congress in the coming Assembly polls. He was also missing from the picture of GFP MLAs and Congress leaders posing with their hands raised together that they tweeted to announce the joining of forces.

Sawant said, “Some are moving forward and backward. Anyone can hold anyone’s hand but in 2022, there is going to be a BJP government in Goa once again.”

“Some parties have come and opened their shops in Goa. Some have come from Delhi, others have come from Bengal. But all these shops have only temporary licences. The permanent licence is only with the BJP,” said BJP state chief Sadanand Tanavade at Salgaonkar’s induction at the BJP office in Panaji.

Taking a potshot at the Trinamool Congress (TMC) that arrived in Goa with the catchphrase Goenchi Navi Sakal (the new dawn of Goa), Sawant said, “We don’t need someone else to come [here] and bring in the new dawn of Goa. The youth of Goa is capable of bringing the new dawn on its own.”

GFP had three MLAs in the current Assembly. With Salgaonkar’s resignation about two months ahead of the Assembly polls, the party is now down to two MLAs.

On his induction, calling the BJP a “national party with national integration”, Salgaonkar said, “There was no particular reason for leaving GFP. I wanted to be with a national party, there were options but I chose the BJP.”

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