The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Goa, led by new Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, won the floor test to prove its majority in the Assembly on Wednesday. The government got the support of 20 MLAs, two more than what it needed for a majority, ANI reported.
The government got the votes of three Goa Forward Party and three Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLAs, as well as three independent MLAs. Fourteen Congress MLAs and one from the Nationalist Congress Party voted against the government.
Sawant’s predecessor, Manohar Parrikar, died on Sunday after a year-long battle with cancer, bringing the strength of the 40-member Assembly down to 36 and the BJP’s tally to 12. The Congress is the single largest party with 14 seats, but past midnight on Monday, the BJP appointed Pramod Sawant the new chief minister. He was sworn in along with two deputies from alliance partners. An 11-member Cabinet was also sworn in.
The two deputy chief ministers are Sudin Dhavlikar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Vijai Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party. The Cabinet includes all the ministers under Parrikar’s rule.
The Goa Assembly had two vacancies by the end of last year after the resignations of two BJP MLAs who moved to the Congress. This year, it has lost two BJP MLAs – Francis D’Souza died in February, and Parrikar this week.
Even though the Congress had won the most seats in elections in 2017, the BJP had moved faster to secure support from both the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, as well as the independents.
‘A mockery of democracy’, says Shiv Sena
The Shiv Sena on Wednesday claimed that political parties in Goa did not even wait for late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s ashes to “cool down” before beginning their machinations. In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said the BJP’s decision to appoint Sawant the new chief minister and two deputy chief ministers in Dhavalikar and Sardesai overnight was a “mockery of democracy”.
It claimed that had the BJP waited till Tuesday, its government in Goa would have fallen, and Dhavalikar and Sardesai would have joined the Congress.