Panaji: The BJP-led government in Goa will face the floor test Wednesay, a day after it was formed. Governor Mridula Sinha has convened a special session of the Assembly at 11.30 am Wednesday to enable Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to prove his majority in the House, an official said. Sawant Tuesday said his government had sought a floor test on Wednesday to prove its strength in the Assembly.
The BJP-led government in the coastal state claims support of 21 MLAs – 12 from the BJP, three each of allies Goa Forward Party (GFP) and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and three Independents. The strength of the 40-member House has been reduced to 36 due to the death of chief minister Manohar Parrikar, BJP MLA Francis D’Souza and resignations of two Congress MLAs Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte.
The Congress is the single largest party in the state with 14 MLAs. There is also an NCP legislator in the House. Sawant, 45, who was sworn in along with 11 other ministers in a ceremony in the wee hours Tuesday, succeeds Parrikar, who died Sunday after battling pancreatic cancer.
He said his priority was to complete projects undertaken by Parrikar. The state government will build a memorial in Parrikar’s name at Panaji’s Miramar beach, where he was cremated, he added. Sawant exuded confidence that the BJP-led alliance would remain intact, adding BJP’s allies are backing him.
“I will try to ensure that the alliance remains intact. I will deal with people the way Parrikar used to,” he said.
Sawant said ministers sworn along with would be allocated portfolios soon.
He expressed confidence that his government will complete its tenure.
Sawant was sworn in as the new chief minister of Goa just before 2 am Tuesday, after hectic parleys between the saffron party and its allies to put a new government in place in the state.
The governor also administered oath to 11 other ministers, including those from BJP’s allies MGP and the GFP.
As per the power-sharing arrangement reached with allies, an MLA each from the two smaller parties backing the BJP will be made deputy chief minister, party sources said. They are GFP chief Vijai Sardesai and MGP legislator Sudin Dhavalikar. After multiple postponements of the oath ceremony on Monday, Sawant, legislator from Sankhalim in North Goa, was sworn in as CM at Raj Bhavan at 1.50 am.
BJP president Amit Shah and Union minister Nitin Gadkari played behind-the-scene roles in ensuring the party retained power in Goa, after the death of Parrikar, sources familiar with the developments said.
The impasse over government formation, which included dealing with stubborn allies wanting to extract their pound of flesh, was resolved with deft handling of the situation by the two senior BJP leaders, party sources said Tuesday. In 2017 also, after the BJP failed to get a majority in the state Assembly polls,Gadkari had flown in here to help the BJP in cobbling up an alliance with smaller parties in the coastal state, after which a government was formed under Parrikar’s leadership.