Panaji: Goa minister and BJP MLA Michael Lobo on Monday resigned from the Pramod Sawant-led cabinet and also as member of the Legislative Assembly, ahead of the state polls scheduled next month.
The Goa BJP unit later said Lobo's move will not have any impact on the party's prospects in the state Assembly elections, to be held on February 14.
Lobo, who represented the Calangute Assembly constituency and held charge of the state port and waste management departments, submitted his resignation to the chief minister's office and the Goa Assembly's Speaker.
He is likely to join the Congress, according to sources.
"I have resigned from both the posts. I will see what steps are to be taken next. I have also resigned from the BJP," Lobo told reporters.
Asked whether he will join the Congress, Lobo said he is in talks with other political parties.
He claimed that people were unhappy with the ruling BJP in the coastal state.
"The voters told me that the BJP is no more a party of the common people, he said, while claiming that the grass-root level workers were feeling ignored by the party.
However, Goa BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanavade said Lobo's decision to leave the party will have no impact on its prospects in the upcoming state polls.
Lobo had left the party long back and he was only physically present with us, Tanavade said.
He may have left, but other workers in the Calangute Assembly constituency are with the party, he said.
The BJP will field a fresh candidate to retain the Calangute Assembly seat in the elections, Tanavade said.
The Election Commission of India on Saturday announced that elections to all 40 Assembly constituencies in Goa would be held on February 14.
The BJP, Congress, Goa Forward Party (GFP), Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Trinamool Congress Party (TMC), and NCP are the main political parties in the fray.
In the 2017 Goa Assembly polls, the Congress had emerged as the single largest party, but it failed to form government.
The BJP had then tied-up with some regional outfits and independents to form government.
The Congress currently has only two MLAs in the state.