BJP’s Pramod Sawant sworn in at 2am as new Goa CM after allies agree to deal
New Delhi: In a dramatic development, in the wee hours of Tuesday, the speaker of the Goa assembly, the BJP’s Pramod Sawant, was sworn in as the new chief minister of the state. The chief minister’s post fell vacant after the death of Manohar Parrikar. Governor Mridula Sinha administered the oath of office to Sawant at around 2am.
Parrikar’s death, on Sunday evening, had pushed the Bharatiya Janata Party into a crisis as it was running a minority government with the help of Goa Forward Party’s Vijay Sardesai, who, in 2017, extended his support to the BJP to form the government only if Parrikar was made the chief minister.
The negotiations with the BJP allies, which started early evening, successfully ended after the intervention of the BJP president, Amit Shah. Two MLAs of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party agreed to join the BJP, which gave the party the strength to continue in power. According to the deal, Sawant will have two deputy chief ministers – one from the MGP and other from the GFP. The GFP had earlier objected to Sawant’s candidature as the chief minister. This is an extraordinary deal given that Goa is a tiny state.
Earlier, Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari, on Monday, said the party has decided who should be Goa’s next chief minister. It was only a matter of making the alliance partners agree.
While Goa assembly speaker Pramod Sawant and health minister Vishwajit Rane have emerged as frontrunners for Goa CM’s post, according to reports, Rane enjoyed the support of BJP’s ally Goa Forward Party and independent MLAs.
Within hours of Parrikar's death, the Congress staked its claim to form the government by being the “single-largest party” in Goa. However, Chandrakant Kavlekar, Goa Congress chief, said the governor was refusing to give the party time to hear their claim.
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