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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Pramod Sawant: From Ayurveda doctor to Goa CM, a journey

The promotion of Sawant to the top post in Goa followed several rounds of parleys between the BJP and its alliance partners

Highlights

  • Among the few MLAs to be re-elected in 2017, Pramod Sawant represents the Sankhalim constituency in north Goa
  • He has a BMS degree with a licence to practice Ayurveda
  • He was a close associate of the late Manohar Parrikar

Panaji: BJP’s Pramod Sawant took oath as the Chief Minister of Goa late on Monday night. Sawant, 46, has replaced Manohar Parrikar, who died on Sunday. Sawant’s promotion to the top post in the coastal state followed several rounds of parleys between the BJP and its alliance partners.

Goa Governor Mridula Sinha administered the of the oath of office and secrecy to Sawant at Raj Bhavan late in the night at around 2 o’clock. Apart from the minister, 11 MLAs, who were part of the Parrikar-led Cabinet, took oath as ministers too.

Sawant was previously the Speaker of the Goa Assembly. Before taking the oath, Sawant said that his party BJP had given him a big responsibility.

Journey of Sawant

Sawant has covered a long journey to the stage where he is now the chief minister of Goa. He was elected twice as an MLA from Sankhalim in north Goa. This used to be considered a citadel of the Congress.

Sawant is a dedicated swayamsevak (volunteer) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He was recently seen in the RSS dress at a Sangh program.

In the BJP, Sawant’s political career started as a young leader. He was a staunch supporter of Parrikar. Sawant worked with the late leader as a close associate.

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 that election, the party got only 13 seats, in 2012 it had won 21.

Nonetheless, Parrikar’s efforts led to the formation of the BJP-led coalition government in 2017, which included Goa Forward Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Independent MLAs.

Sawant was elected the Speaker of the Assembly. He is also the President of Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation. Parrikar had established this corporation to carry out various infrastructure works in the coastal State.

The newly elected Chief Minister Sawant has a BMS degree from Ganga Education Society Ayurvedic College, located in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. His wife Sulakshana is the head of BJP women’s cell in Goa.

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