Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday congratulated Pramod Swant, the newly appointed chief minister of Goa. “Best wishes to Dr. Pramod Sawant and his team as they begin their journey towards fulfilling the dreams of the people of Goa,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
“I am sure they will build on the work done in the last few years and boost Goa’s growth trajectory,” he added.
“Greetings to the newly sworn-in Chief Minister of Goa, Dr Pramod Sawant and his team. I am sure that this new leadership will continue to serve the people of Goa with the same dedication and commitment. My best wishes,” BJP president Amit Shah tweeted.
A day after former CM Manohar Parrikar was laid to rest with state honours, the BJP chose Goa Assembly speaker Sawant as his successor. Sawant was administered the oath of office by Governor Mridual Sinha, along with his cabinet of 11 ministers in the early hours of Tuesday.
Sawant had reached the Raj Bhawan around midnight to stake claim to form the government after Vijai Sardesai of Goa Forward Party and Sudin Dhavalikar of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party lent their support. The two were rewarded with the post of Deputy Chief Minister.
The Congress had also reached Raj Bhavan to stake the claim. Claiming that the Congress is the “single-largest party” in Goa, the party asked Governor Mridula Sinha to “dismiss the ruling BJP.”
The Goa Assembly strength is down to 36 MLAs — with the deaths of Parrikar on Sunday and Francis D’Souza in February, and with two Congress members resignations. The Congress has 14 MLAs, the BJP 12, the MGP and Goa Forward Party three each, the NCP one and three are Independents.
A two-time MLA representing Sanquelim constituency, Sawant is among the few leaders in the BJP groomed by Parrikar himself. A young leader, Sawant quickly grew through the ranks of the party beginning as a karyakarta. More importantly, Sawant is the only leader in the party right now who has the backing of the RSS and has no political baggage.