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Pramod Sawant to continue as Goa CM; swearing-in date not yet decided

Sawant said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President J P Nadda will attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new government

Pramod Sawant

Press Trust of India Panaji
Three-time MLA Pramod Sawant will continue as the chief minister of Goa for a second term, the BJP announced on Monday after he was unanimously elected the legislature party head, 11 days after he led the saffron outfit to its second best performance in terms of seats in Assembly polls in the coastal state. Sawant said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President J P Nadda will attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new government for which a date is yet to be decided. Talking to reporters here, he said the exact date of swearing-in would be decided only after getting confirmation of schedule from the PM and Nadda. Soon after Sawant (48) was elected the leader of the legislature party in Goa, the BJP staked a claim to form the new government with support from two MGP MLAs and three Independent legislators for a third straight term, a credible achievement in a state known for its political volatility and shifting of loyalties. The BJP, which won 20 seats in the 40-member Assembly, just one shy of the majority mark of 21, submitted letters of support from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLAs and three Independents MLAs -- Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, Dr Chandrakant Shetye and Antonio Vas - to Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai, who invited Sawant to form the next government. I am satisfied that 25 MLAs are supporting the claim of Dr Pramod Sawant. Accordingly, I hereby invite you to be appointed as the chief minister of Goa. You will assume office after administration of oath, the Governor said after receiving the letters. Earlier, Sawant's name for the top post was cleared at a meeting of the newly elected BJP MLAs and senior party leaders in Panaji in the evening. The 48-year-old politician is a three-time MLA from Sankhalim in North Goa. He was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly when the BJP formed its government under the leadership of Parrikar in 2017. He was sworn-in as the chief minister for the first time in March 2019 after the death of Parrikar.
Sawant, an Ayurveda medical practitioner, was at the helm when the coastal state faced the COVID-19 pandemic along with other parts of the country. The meeting was also attended by BJP central observers Narendra Singh Tomar and L Murugan, Assembly poll in-charge Devendra Fadnavis and the party's state unit president, Sadanand Shet Tanavade. It has been decided that Dr Pramod Sawant would be the leader of the House, Tomar told reporters after the meeting. Tomar said MLA Vishwajit Rane, who was being seen as a strong contender for the CM's post, proposed Sawant's name as the leader of the BJP legislature party. His proposal was seconded by other MLAs, including Mauvin Godinho and Rohan Khaunte. Tomar said Sawant's election was unanimous. We will be inviting the PM and Nadda for the swearing-in ceremony. We will be able to convey to you the exact date of swearing-in once we get confirmation of schedule from both of them, the CM-designate said. Under Sawant, the BJP won 20 seats in the February 14 Assembly polls results of which were declared on March 10, an improvement from 13 bagged by the saffron outfit in 2017. The BJP tally of 20 was its second best after the party had won 21 seats in 2012 when late Manohar Parrikar dominated Goa's political scene.
Sawant said his incoming government will work with full transparency" and take forward the mission of 'Swayampurna Goa 2.0', which is an extension of the PM's 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' programme. He said said creation of adequate infrastructure and human development would be the focus areas of the state government in the next five years. "Swayampurna Goa is an extension of Prime Minister Modi's Aatmanirbhar Bharat scheme which will be implemented across the state with thrust on self-sufficiency, he said. Under the programme, a state government officer is appointed as 'Swayampurna Mitra' who visits a designated panchayat or municipality, interacts with people, coordinates with multiple departments and ensures that benefits of various welfare schemes reach the targeted population. He said he will take along non-BJP legislators who have extended their support to the new government. We will work with full transparency taking into confidence the parties which have extended their support to the government. We all will work together, he said. He said the BJP will continue giving good governance in the coastal state.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 22 2022 | 7:34 AM IST

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