Goa floor test: Pramod Sawant ‘ready to prove majority’

The Pramod Sawant government in Goa claimed support of 21 MLAs after parleys with allies culminated in the oath ceremony at 2 AM on Tuesday

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[pullquote]• The Pramod Sawant government in Goa has claimed the support of 21 legislators: 3 MLAs of BJP, 3 each of the GFP and MGP and 3 independents
• After the deaths of then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and BJP MLA Francis D’Souza and the resignation of Congress MLAs, Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte, the number of MLAs in the 40-member Goa Assembly is 36
• Congress wants to form government owing to its status of the single largest party with 14 MLAs[/pullquote]

Panaji: A few hours after taking the oath of office and secrecy, the new Chief Minister of Goa, Pramod Sawant, said on Tuesday that his government has asked for a floor test on 20 March (Wednesday) to prove majority in the Assembly.

The BJP-led government in Goa has claimed the support of 21 legislators, including three MLAs of its own, three each from the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and three independents.

After the deaths of then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and BJP MLA Francis D’Souza and the resignation of two Congress MLAs, Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte, the number of MLAs in the 40-member Goa Assembly is now 36.

The Congress, with 14 MLAs, is the largest party in the State. The NCP has a legislator in the House too.

After taking over as Chief Minister on Tuesday, Sawant told reporters, “We have written to Governor Mridula Sinha and requested her the majority test be held on Wednesday. We are ready to prove our majority.”

The chief minister said that his priority was to complete all the projects started by the late Parrikar. Parrikar died after succumbing to pancreatic cancer for a long time. The last rites were performed on Monday with state honours.

Sawant said that the State government would construct a memorial of Parrikar on the Miramar Beach of Panaji where the last rites were performed.

BJP’s Pramod Sawant had taken oath as the Chief Minister of Goa at 2 AM on Tuesday. Sawant, 46, has replaced Manohar Parrikar, who died on Sunday.

Sawant’s promotion to the top post of the coastal State took place after several rounds of parleys between the BJP and its alliance partners, which reached a conclusion, sources said, when Amit Shah intervened with a compromise formula.

Governor Mridula Sinha administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 46-year-old Sawant at the Raj Bhavan. Eleven legislators, who were part of the cabinet led by Parrikar, took oath as ministers too. Savant was the Speaker of the Goa Assembly.

Goa CM’s political background

Before taking the oath, Sawant said that his party BJP had given him a big responsibility. Sawant’s political career started as a BJP worker when he was rather young. He was a staunch supporter of Parrikar. He was a trusted colleague of the late leader.

Sawant had won the last two Assembly elections from the Sankhamul constituency of northern Goa in 2012 and 2017, which used to be a citadel of the Congress.

Sawant is among the few elected MLAs of BJP who were re-elected from their respective constituencies in the Assembly elections held two years ago. In this election, the party got only 13 seats; in 2012 it had won 21.

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