Following the demise of Goa Chief Minister and former Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar last evening, Dr Pramod Sawant will be swearing-in as the next Goa Chief Minister. BJP national secretary P Muralidhar Rao announced the decision on Twitter around midnight on 18th March.
Congratulations to Shri Pramod Sawant on his nomination as new Goa CM. I am sure that Goa will continue it’s development journey under your leadership. A developed and prosperous Goa will be the biggest tribute to the beloved leader Shri Manohar Parrikar ji.@BJP4Goa
— Chowkidar P Muralidhar Rao (@PMuralidharRao) March 18, 2019
According to reports, BJP ally Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party’s (MGP) Sudin Dhavalikar and Goa Forward Party’s (GFP) Vijai Sardesai will be the deputy chief ministers. The swearing-in was scheduled to be held at 11 PM on 18th March, but that had to be postponed as the discussions among the coalition parties, which was led by union minister Nitin Gadkari, went on till late in the night. Now the new government of Goa will take oath on 19th March.
Name of Pramod Sawant took a while to come out, as other names like North Goa MP Shripad Naik, Rajya Sabha MP and state BJP President Vinay Tendulkar and state health minister Vishawajit Rane were doing rounds. BJP, according to reports, initially was deliberating on the name of Vinay Dinu Tendulkar, as there were demands from alliance not to make an incumbent MLA, the next CM of Goa.
Pramod Sawant represents Sanquelim constituency, since 2012, from Central Goa. In 2017 Goa assembly elections he had defeated Congress candidate Dharmesh Saglani, with a margin of around 2100 votes. He is an Ayurveda Practioner by profession. When CM Manohar Parikkar was bedridden, Sawant was tasked with attending public functions on his behalf.
The Goa Assembly has the full strength of 40, which has been reduced to 36 after the death of CM Manohar Parikkar and Francis D’Souza, and the resignation of two Congress MLAs. The majority mark currently at 19. Congress has 14 MLAs, and it is supported by NCP which has 1 MLA. On the other hand, BJP has 12 MLAs, and it has supports of GFP and MGP which have 3 MLAs each, and 3 Independents, thus the total tally coming to 21.