The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Pramod Sawant on Tuesday (19 March 2019) took oath as the chief minister of Goa in a ceremony held at 2am, as the BJP party managed to keep its allies together after hectic negotiations all through the day.
Before taking oath, Sawant thanked his party for this big responsibility and paid rich tributes to Manohar Parrikar who passed away after long battle with cancer on Sunday.
The 45-year-old takes over from former defence minister and four-time CM of Goa Manohar Parrikar, who was cremated at the Miramar beach on Monday.
Along with the Chief Minister, Sudin alias Ramkrishna Dhavlikar of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Vijai Sardesai of Goa Forward Party were sworn in as Deputy Chief Ministers. The entire Cabinet of Manohar Parikkar has been retained. The Ministers who were also sworn-in included Manohar Ajgaonkar (MGP), Rohan Khavtye (independent), Govind Gaude (independent), Vinod Palyekar (Goa forward), Jayesh Salgaonkar (Goa Forward) and four of BJP, namely, Mauvin Godinho, Vishwajit Rane, Milind Naik aand Nilesh Cabral.
The BJP-led alliance has a strength of 21 which included 12 of BJP, three each of MGP and Goa Forward Party and three Independents in the truncated House of 36 (40). The Opposition Congress has 14 MLAs while Nationalist Congress has one.
Manohar Parrikar, the BJP’s tallest leader in Goa, was the party’s most acceptable face for allies like the MGP and Goa Forward Party.
Manohar Parrikar, the BJP’s tallest leader in Goa, was the party’s most acceptable face for allies like the MGP and Goa Forward Party. The popular Goan leader kept the fractious coalition running, even making public appearances with a nasal tube and supported by aides at the peak of his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Few Things To Know About Pramod Sawant
If Mr Parrikar was an IIT graduate, Mr Sawant has an educational background in medicine. The 45-year-old legislator from Sanquelim constituency obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery from the Ganga Education Society’s Ayurvedic Medical College in Kolhapur before going on to get a postgraduate degree in Master of Social Work from Pune’s Tilak Maharashtra University. He referred to Mr Parrikar as a “statesman, guide and a fatherly figure” in a condolence message posted on Twitter on Sunday.
Sawant was the president of Sai Sports and Youth Club in his native Pale-Cotombi village and was awarded Nehru Yuva Kendra award. Sawant’s mild nature and clean reputation gave him an edge over his biggest competitor Vishwajit Rane, who has seniority on his side, but is not favoured among allies, said a Goa BJP leader. Rane had resigned from the Congress and joined the BJP last year. His father, Pratapsingh, continues to be in the Congress.
Mr Sawant’s wife, Sulakshana Sawant, heads the BJP Mahila Morcha in Goa. She is also a part of the State Election Committee formed by the party under the chairmanship of Vinay Tendulkar for the Lok Sabha polls.
The current strength of the Goa assembly stands at 36 instead of 40 due to the deaths of Mr Parrikar and BJP legislator Francis D’Souza, and the resignation of two others. Although the Congress claims to be the single-largest party with 14 seats, the BJP — with 13 — has the support of many smaller parties. The state has a 12-member cabinet.
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