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Pramod Sawant sworn in as 11th Goa CM: The final stalemate over the Appointment of New CM

Now former speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly namely, 'Pramod Sawant' takes 'oath' as the new young Chief Minister (CM) of Goa, at the Raj Bhavan on march 19 (Late Night), 11 leaders, including Sudin Dhavalikar of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Vijai Sardesai of Goa Forward Party, also take oath at the Raj Bhavan as cabinet ministers.

At a much-delayed swearing-in ceremony, held around 2 am Tuesday, 11 other MLAs, part of the Parrikar-led cabinet, were also sworn in as ministers. 

Manohar Ajgaonkar, BJP's Mauvin Godinho, Vishwajit Rane, Milind Naik and Nilesh Cabral, Goa Forward Party's Vinod Palyekar and Jayesh Salgaonkar & Independent MLAs Rohan Khaunte and Govind Gawade also took oath at the Raj Bhavan as state cabinet ministers.

Importantly, Newly-appointed Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant stated that, "I have to provide a stability & move ahead together with all allies. It'll be my responsibility to complete the incomplete works. I will not be able to work as much as Manohar Parrikar ji but I will definitely try to work as much as possible".

Notably, The mortal remains of the 63-year-old senior BJP leader were kept in a flower-decked hearse which left for the Miramar beach, where the last rites were performed. The affection and popularity Parrikar enjoyed among ordinary Goans was on display as hundreds of common folks, and his party workers lined up to pay tributes to the chief minister, who died on March 17 after prolonged illness. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent few minutes talking to Parrikar's sons Utpal and Abhijat, two daughters in law, brother Avdhut and sisters.

"Governor is acting as an agent of BJP and this will be remembered as the darkest day in Indian democracy," the Congress said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Smriti Irani gets emotional as she pays last respects to Goa CM. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that he used to meet Manohar Parrikar occasionally when the Goa CM was a minister in the central government. He mentioned that Manohar Parrikar used to say that despite working in the government, he felt that his heart was in Goa, following the last rites of late Goa CM Manohar Parrikar.

Thus, Thousands of citizens and party workers of the BJP and others arrived at Kala Academy in Panjim to pay their final tributes to Parrikar. A six-time MLA representing the state capital, Parrikar never lost an election in his constituency. During his first term as chief minister in the early 2000s, Parrikar focussed on developing infrastructure in the city keeping in mind internation events that he later introduced to the state.

The final stalemate over the appointment of New CM issue.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari had flown into the state early Monday to lead the discussions. BJP chief Amit Shah, who was also in Goa, is learnt to have supervised the party's cobbling up the requisite numbers to stake claim to form government.

Emerging from a night-long meeting with Nitin Gadkari, Santosh other state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, Goa Forward MLA Vijai Sardesai said the discussions were inconclusive, even as party MLA Michael Lobo claimed that former PWD Minister and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) leader Sudin Dhavalikar has laid claim to post of CM.

Although, Michael Lobo, Goa Deputy Speaker and BJP MLA, Sudin Dhavalikar (Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party leader) also wants to become the Chief Minister. He argued that he has sacrificed many times by supporting BJP, he has put his demand but BJP will not agree to that.

Moreover, “Dhavalikar wants to become Chief Minister. He has put his demand. That is being worked out. Dhavalikar argued that he had sacrificed many times by supporting the BJP. But the India's ruling party (BJP) will not agree his demand.” Michael Lobo, the BJP has shortlisted Vishwajit Rane and Pramod Sawant for the post of Chief Minister.

Following the trend, Dhavalikar did not confirm about his pitch for Chief Ministership, but assumed that he would meet BJP leaders again soon following discussions with the state executive committee of his regional party. “Nothing has been decided yet… Whatever decision the MGP takes, we will have to take a resolution of the executive committee and give it to them,” he mentioned.

At the same time, BJP president Amit Shah has arrived in a Goa hotel to have a meeting with Goa legislators as 'Pramod Sawant’s' name is the frontrunner for the chief minister’s post. "And He will meet alliance partners - the GFP, MGP and independents - and try to convince them to arrive at a consensus on the candidate for the chief ministerial post,".

The first Bharatiya Janata Party leader to be Goa Chief Minister, Parrikar headed the state from 2000-05 and 2012-14, before joining the Narendra Modi government as Defence Minister from 2014.

While GFP chief Vijai Sardesai said. He said he, along with other coalition partners, had raised certain apprehensions with Nitin Gadkari but was yet to get answers on them from the BJP. The battle over who will be the next CM of the state continues even as Raj Bhawan gears up for a swearing in ceremony.

Both of them, the BJP allies - Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Goa Forward Party - are demanding the post of deputy chief minister. Indications are that the BJP may be forced to oblige both. The BJP has 12 seats and the allies have 3 each. The Congress has 14 seats etc..

The BJP along with its alliance partners stake claim to form a government in Goa, BJP President Amit Shah said on March 18. "(Union Minister) Nitin Gadkari after some time, after speaking to leaders of all coalition parties, will clear the path for formation of a new government. After that they will go together to meet the Governor to stake claim," BJP President stated on March 18.

According to a Times Now report, during Parrikar's illness, Pramod Sawant was tasked with attending various public functions on his behalf. BJP sources also claim that Speaker Pramod Sawant and BJP MLA Vishwajit Rane are front-runners for the CM's post.

Earlier, BJP chief Amit Shah argued that his party is holding discussion with its allies in Goa to decide the new CM and will soon meet the governor to stake claim to form government. The BJP president also met local party leaders in a star hotel here along with Union minister Nitin Gadkari with the same light.

Finally, Ex-speaker 'Pramod Sawant' takes oath as the new CM of Goa, at the Raj Bhavan on march 19 (Late Night), aimed at beating Goa governor Mridula Sinha’s midnight deadline to have a CM with a government in place. Else she would have had to place the state assembly under suspended animation and recommend President’s rule.

Talking to journalists, Pramod Sawant said that, "Party has given me a huge responsibility, I will try my best to carry it out in the best possible manner. Whatever I am today is all due to Manohar Parrikar. It was he who brought me to politics, I became the Speaker and the CM today, due to him".

Critically, Even as the BJP and allies are inside Darball Hall at Raj Bhawan, staking claim to form the government, expressing disappointment, Sunil Kawthankar, Goa Congress says the party 'strongly condemns undemocratic action' of Goa Governor Mridula Sinha for not allowing Congress to form the government.

"We're strongly condemning undemocratic action of Goa Governor Mridula Sinha for not allowing our single largest party to form the govt and allowing BJP to carry on horse trading despite BJP not having sufficient numbers to form the govt," he said as quoted by ANI news agency..

Consequently, On March 19, 'Pramod Sawant' take oath as the new and young Chief Minister of Goa, at the Raj Bhavan on march 19 (Late Night), 11 leaders, including 'Sudin Dhavalikar' of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and 'Vijai Sardesai' of Goa Forward Party, also take oath at the Raj Bhavan as cabinet ministers.

Newly-appointed CM of Goa, Pramod Sawant previously holds the Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly. As per the power-sharing arrangement reached with allies, an MLA each from two small parties backing BJP in the coastal state made deputy chief ministers. A two-time MLA representing Sanquelim constituency, Pramod Sawant is among the few leaders in the BJP groomed by Parrikar himself.

Pramod Sawant, 45, Bachelor's degree in Ayurvedic Medicine from the Ganga Aruvedic Medical College in Maharashtra's Kolhapur district and was practicing doctor of alternative medicine. He has also completed his Masters in Social Welfare from the Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth, and is known for his associations in youth networks.

The 11 others who takes the oath as ministers are, Sudin Dhavlikar, Vijai Sardesai, Manohar Azgaonkar, Rohan Khaunte, Govind Gaude, Vinod Palienkar, Jayesh Salgaonkar, Mauvin Godinho, Vishwajit Rane, Milind Naik, Nilesh Cabral. This makes it a 12 member cabinet including New CM Pramod Sawant. Here, We hope for the best by the means and method of Newly-appointed Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

Congratulations to the New CM of Goa (Pramod Sawant): CEO, TRILOK SINGH.

Author: Trilok Singh,
MA in Political Science, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. Professional-Scholar and CEO at Youth Darpan Media, India's Journal and IAS mind.

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