Pramod Sawant to stay Goa chief minister. BJP says he was elected unanimously
PANAJI: Pramod Sawant will continue as Goa’s chief minister for a second term, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) central observer Narendra Singh Tomar announced on Monday evening.
After a marathon meeting in which Tomar along with co-observer L Murugan held one-on-one meetings with BJP legislators at the state party headquarters, Pramod Sawant emerged as the unanimous choice to head the state for the second consecutive term.
“As observers, we came to oversee the meeting of the legislative assembly. The elected MLAs discussed the issue of leadership and it has emerged that the leader will be Pramod Sawant. The proposal to that effect was tabled by Vishwajit Rane and seconded by six others,” Tomar said.
“I asked if there were any other names that anyone else would like to propose and all the elected members said that they are supporting Pramod Sawant,” Tomar added.
Vishwajit Rane, who was the other contender for the top post was understood to have aggressively lobbied for the top post, but didn’t find much support among the BJP legislators.
“I want to thank the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national president JP Nadda and Amit Shah for reposing faith in me. I would also like to thank the voters of Goa for giving the BJP the opportunity to once again govern the state,” Sawant said.
“We have the support of three independents and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and are taking them along in the government. We are meeting the governor to formally stake claim after a meeting with those who are supporting us. I thank the people of Goa for voting the BJP with a near full majority in the state. We are forming the government with a majority of 25,” Sawant said.
Later in the evening, Sawant, along with the MLAs of the BJP and its alliance partner MGP and Independents, called on Goa governor P S Sreedharan Pillai and formally staked claim to form the government.
“With the support of 25 MLAs we have submitted a letter to the governor. The governor has invited us to form the government. We will announce the date of the swearing-in after some time. The Prime Minister and union home minister Amit Shah are likely to come for the ceremony,” Sawant told reporters after the meeting.
There was no official word on who will be sworn in as ministers, however it is learnt that Besides Sawant, Vishwajit Rane of the BJP, Sudin Dhavalikar of the MGP and Reginaldo Lourenço and Dr Chandrakant Shetye, both independents, will be sworn in as ministers along with Sawant.