A minute after the national anthem was played in Goa’s Raj Bhavan, Dr. Pramod Sawant took oath as its Chief Minister at 1.48 AM. After former CM Manohar Parrikar’s final rites were conducted with full state honors, the 45-year-old MLA from Sanquelim constituency took charge of the office.
Along with Dr. Pramod Sawant, 11 other MLAs who were part of the Mr. Parrikar-led cabinet were also sworn in as ministers at a much-delayed swearing-in ceremony. Sudin Dhavalikar and Manohar Ajgaonkar of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Govind Gawde and Rohan Khaunte (both independents) and Vijai Sardesai of Goa Forward party (GFP) took their oaths as Cabinet Ministers. This oath ceremony was about to take place at 11 pm at Raj Bhavan but was delayed due to inexplicable reasons.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and congratulated Pramod Sawant by wishing him and his team.
“Best wishes to Dr. Pramod Sawant and his team as they begin their journey towards fulfilling the dreams of the people of Goa. I am sure they will build on the work done in the last few years and boost Goa’s growth trajectory.”
Best wishes to Dr. Pramod Sawant and his team as they begin their journey towards fulfilling the dreams of the people of Goa. I am sure they will build on the work done in the last few years and boost Goa’s growth trajectory.
— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 19, 2019
Few minutes after taking the oath, Pramod Sawant told reporters that he would try his best to meet expectations. He said,
“I don’t know if I will be able to fill in the shoes of Manohar Parrikar, he was a very tall leader …It is a very big responsibility that the party has given me. I will try my best to fulfill it. I am what I am today because of him.”
Also, BJP President Amit Shah took to Twitter and congratulated Dr. Sawant,
“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.”
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.
— Chowkidar Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 19, 2019
Apart from BJP, Congress had also reached Raj Bhavan to stake the claim. Moreover, the Congress party asked Governor Mridula Sinha to “dismiss the ruling BJP” claiming that the Congress is the “single-largest party” in Goa.
Due to the deaths of Parrikar on Sunday and Francis D’Souza in February and with two Congress members resignations, the Goa Assembly strength is down to 36 MLAs. The BJP has 12 MLAs, Congress has 14 MLAs, the NCP one, the MGP and Goa Forward Party three each, and three are Independents.
Dr. Sawant who is a two-time MLA representing Sanquelim constituency is among the few leaders in the BJP who are groomed by Parrikar. Sawant is a young leader who quickly grew through the ranks of the party beginning as a karyakarta. And, more importantly, he is the only leader in the party right now who has no political baggage but the backing of the RSS.
Former Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly BJP MLA Sawant is an Ayurvedic medical practitioner, and his wife Sulakshana Sawant is the President of Goa Mahila Morcha.