Pramod Sawant is still the Chief Minister of Goa, thanks to the BJP’s faith in him
The BJP re-elected Pramod Sawant as chief minister of Goa on Monday, putting an end to speculation about whether the incumbent or senior MLA Vishwaji Rane would lead the state. The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and three independent MLAs are expected to support the ruling party in forming the government.
Following a meeting of the BJP Legislature Party at the party’s state headquarters in Panaji, the saffron party’s central observer, Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar, who arrived in Goa earlier in the day, announced Sawant’s name. The newly elected MLAs of the saffron party were greeted with an aarti and flower petals at the BJP office earlier in the afternoon.
Sawant, 48, led the BJP in the recent Assembly elections in Goa, where the ruling party improved its performance by winning 20 of the 40 seats, up from 13 five years ago. After the death of former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in March 2019, he was promoted to the top job.
BJP insiders had previously admitted that the election result led to Rane’s emergence as another power centre in the state, despite the fact that the saffron party’s top leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, had endorsed Sawant during the election campaign last month.
Sawant has ties to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and is thought to be close to BJP general secretary (Organisation) BL Santosh and state general secretary (Organisation) Satish Dhond, dubbed “the power behind the CM’s chair” in Goa.
Sawant’s political career spans more than two decades, and he has remained loyal to a single political party throughout. The two-term MLA from Sanquelim has also served as the Speaker of the Goa Assembly and as the leader of the BJP’s Yuva Morcha. Sawant holds a bachelor’s degree in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) from Kolhapur’s Shivaji University and a master’s degree in social work from Pune’s Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth. Sulakshana, his wife, is a schoolteacher and a BJP activist, and the couple has a teenage daughter.
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