Goa MLAs take oath, Pramod Sawant leaves for Delhi ahead of govt formation - Hindustan Times

Goa MLAs take oath, Pramod Sawant leaves for Delhi ahead of govt formation

ByGerard de Souza
Mar 16, 2022 12:17 AM IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has cited ‘central procedures’ for the delay in finalising the chief minister.

PANAJI: The 40 MLAs of Goa took oath in a single session of the legislative assembly on Tuesday, marking the first swearing-in of MLAs in the history of the state without having a chief minister or a cabinet in place.

40 MLAs-elect were sworn in as members of the Goa legislative assembly on Tuesday (PTI)
40 MLAs-elect were sworn in as members of the Goa legislative assembly on Tuesday (PTI)

Pramod Sawant, who resigned as the chief minister late last week and appointed as the acting chief minister in order to pave the way for the formation of a new government, has headed to New Delhi to meet the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central leadership.

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Sawant is tipped to be appointed as the leader of the BJP legislative party once he meets the central leadership, which is now expected to take place only next week after Holi.

“I thank the people for their continued love and trust. I Will continue to work for the all-round development of Goa,” Sawant tweeted after the conclusion of the brief assembly session.

“I once again reiterate my commitment to be the voice of the people & always fight to protect identity & preserve heritage of Goa,” former leader of opposition, Digambar Kamat said.

The day witnessed two MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) one MLA of the Revolutionary Goans Party (RGP) making their respective party’s debut in the Goa legislative assembly.

While the BJP has cited “central procedures” for the delay in finalising the chief minister, differences have emerged among the MLAs over whether or not to accept the “unconditional” support offered by Sudin Dhavalikar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) who has pledged that he will support the government after conversations with the BJP’s central leadership.

“(BJP Goa election in-charge Devendra) Fadnavis and (union home minister) Amit Shah called me and BJP president (J P) Nadda also called me. I placed the issue before the executive committee of MGP. At around 4pm, there was a meeting and it was decided to give unconditional support to the BJP,” Dhavalikar told reporters.

When asked to comment on a section of BJP MLAs opposing his entry, Dhavalikar said, “I do not care. I have spoken at a higher level. I do not care about anyone who speaks here. I have nothing to do with them,” he added.

The BJP is also keen to keep a lid on speculation that rises with each passing day over who the next chief minister will be, as reports of lobbying for the top post have emerged. Besides Sawant, former health minister Vishwajit Rane too is reportedly lobbying with the central leadership to be chosen for the chief minister post.

In the polls, the BJP emerged as the single largest party, winning 20 seats. The MGP, which fought the Goa elections inalliance with the Trinamool Congress (TMC), won two seats. The TMC won no seats.

While the Congress won 11 seats, two seats went to the tally of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Independent candidates bagged three seats. The Revolutionary Goans Party (RGP) and the Goa Forward Party won one seat each.

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