BJP man to be Goa CM; allies to get 2 dy CM’s posts

Panaji, Mar 18 (PTI) BJP’s Pramod Sawant will be the new chief minister of Goa, party sources said Monday.

Two MLAs from the BJP alliance partners will be made deputy chief ministers as part of the compromise reached with allies, they said.

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.

Sawant is now Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly. He will succeed Manohar Parrikar who died Sunday.

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The two would-be Dy CMs are Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai and MGP MLA Sudin Dhavalikar.

“We have managed to convince the alliance partners and finalized the formula of two deputy chief ministers for the state, a senior BJP functionary said.

There was no such arrangement (Dy CM post) in place when Parrikar was the CM.

The swearing-in ceremony is likely to be held at 9 pm Monday, he said.

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Union minister Nitin Gadkari on 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.

There were 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.

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Gadkari had flown into the state early on Monday to lead the discussion.

Parrikar was heading a coalition government comprising the BJP, three MLAs each of the Goa Forward Party, the MGP and three independents.

Congress is currently the single largest party in the state with 14 MLAs. The BJP has 12 legislators in the 40-member assembly, whose strength now is 36 after Parrikar’s death.

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The strength of the House has reduced due to the 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.

All the state Congress MLAs met Governor Mridula Sinha on Monday and staked claim to form the government in the coastal state.

The MLAs, led by Leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, went to Raj Bhawan and handed over a letter to Sinha, saying it was the single largest party in the assembly and should be allowed to form the government.

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“We are saddened by the chief minister’s demise, but before his final rites are performed, a new government has to be formed… The governor acknowledged that the Congress is the single largest party and she said she will get back to us,” Kavlekar told reporters.

Parrikar was cremated with state honors Monday, with thousands bidding the affable politician a fond farewell.

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BJP president Amit Shah, some Union ministers and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states attended the funeral at Miramar beach.

Parrikar’s eldest son Utpal lit the funeral pyre.

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Copy Edited by Adam Rizvi


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