Pramod Sawant next Goa CM; Sudin Dhavalikar, Vijai Sardesai his deputies

Goa Assembly Speaker Pramod Pandurang Sawant will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of a BJP-led coalition government on Monday evening by Governor Mridula Sinha.

Next Goa CM to be announced by 2pm; swearing-in ceremony by 3pm today: State BJP Chief
Pramod Sawant. Photo: Facebook
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 18 Mar 2019 09:47 PM
New Delhi: BJP leader Pramod Sawant will be the next chief minister of Goa, sources said on Monday. Sawant, who is now the Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly, will be the 11th Chief Minister of the coastal state. He will succeed his mentor Manohar Parrikar, who died on Sunday after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer.

Sudin Dhavalikar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Vijai Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) will be the deputy chief ministers of the coastal state, sources added.

The BJP managed to break the deadlock in Goa, offering key allies their pound of flesh, by accepting their demand for deputy CM's posts.

"We have managed to convince the alliance partners and finalised the formula of two deputy chief ministers for the state, PTI quoted a senior BJP functionary as saying. The swearing in ceremony is likely to be held at 9 pm Monday, he said.

This cames after a series of meetings involving the Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party's three MLAs each, an equal number of Independents, and BJP legislators since late Sunday night to reach a consensus on Parrikar's successor. However, the BJP is yet to make an official announcement on the appointments at the top posts.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari Monday evening had said a consensus eluded the BJP and its allies on the next Goa chief minister, adding the BJP had zeroed in on the CM candidate but the allies were yet to get on board. Gadkari had flown into the state early Monday to lead the discussion.

"We are yet to reach a consensus (with allies) on a candidate for the CM's post. We are in talks with our alliance partners, Gadkari had said, adding that he was in Goa till 6 pm and hoped a name for the next CM agreeable to all would be arrived at by then.

On the other hand, all 14 Congress MLAs in Goa went to Raj Bhawan on Monday to meet Governor Mridula Sinha to stake claim to form government. The Congress Legislative Party (CLP) met in Panaji on Monday morning.

Leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said the party MLAs decided to walk to the Raj Bhawan uninvited, after the governor refused to give them an appointment.

The opposition party had written to her, staking claim to form the government on Friday and then again on Sunday.

"We are a majority party in the House and still have to struggle to get the appointment. We demand that we be invited to form the government under the circumstances where the (BJP-led) government does not exist after Parrikar's demise," Kavlekar said.

The Congress is currently the single largest party in the state with 14 MLAs while the BJP has 12 in the 40-member Assembly.

The strength of the House has now been reduced to 36 due to demise of BJP MLA Francis D'Souza earlier this year and Parrikar on Sunday and resignations of two Congress MLAs Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte last year.

The Goa Forward Party (GFP), the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) has three MLAs each, while the NCP has one. There are Independents as well.

The GFP, the MGP and Independents are part of the Parrikar government.