Goa: BJP’s Pramod Sawant sworn in as chief minister past midnight
Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLA Sudin Dhavalikar and Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai took charge as deputy chief ministers.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Goa Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant was sworn in as the chief minister around 2 am on Tuesday.
Calangute MLA will be protem Goa Assembly Speaker during the floor test scheduled for Wedesday, Prudent Media reported.
Sawant took oath hours after former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was cremated at Miramar beach. Parrikar died on Sunday at his home after battling pancreatic cancer for over a year.
The newly appointed chief minister has requested his friends and party workers to refrain from giving him bouquets and greetings during the mourning period. “I look forward to your blessings and support in carrying ahead the glorious legacy of commitment towards good governance,” Sawant posted on Facebook.
Eleven leaders were also sworn in as Cabinet ministers, including Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLA Sudin Dhavalikar and Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai, ANI reported. Dhavalikar and Sardesai are the state’s new deputy chief ministers.
Reports had said the swearing-in ceremony of the new chief minister was initially scheduled to be held at 9 pm and then pushed to 11 pm on Monday, but it was delayed even further as BJP continued to hold talks with allies to reach a consensus on the next chief minister. The ceremony was finally held at 1.50 am at the Raj Bhavan, according to the Hindustan Times.
Sawant said his aim is to provide stability and move ahead together with the allies. “It’ll be my responsibility to complete the incomplete works,” ANI quoted him as saying. “I will not be able to work as much as Manohar Parrikar ji but I will definitely try to work as much as possible.”
Union minister Nitin Gadkari had held several meetings with the BJP’s allies from late Sunday night to reach a consensus on the new chief minister.
Goa will observe a period of mourning for a week, during which the national flag will fly at half-mast on all buildings across the state. Thousands of people had joined the procession to Miramar beach, where Parrikar’s funeral was held.
The BJP has 12 seats, while its allies Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, have three seats each. The Nationalist Congress Party has one seat, while there are three independent legislators who support the BJP-led coalition.
The Congress, with 14 MLAs, is the single-largest party in the Goa Assembly, which has 36 members and four vacancies at present. The party had staked claim to form the government multiple times ahead of Sawant being made chief minister.
Also read: Why BJP’s new Goa chief minister was sworn in at 2 am after Manohar Parrikar’s last rites