BJP leader Dr Pramod Sawant was sworn-in as the new chief minister of Goa on late Monday night, dashing all hopes of the Congress party to do a literal political coup in the State just after cremation of Manohar Parrikar, who died Sunday after battling pancreatic cancer.
Dr Sawant, who is an Ayurveda practitioner by profession, represents the Sanquelim constituency in the Goa. Till date he was serving as the Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly.
Meanwhile, the hopes for the Congress, which had said it would stake claim to form the government late on Sunday night, dissipated as the BJP and its two regional allies held hectic parleys through the day, and settled on Sawant’s name after a prolonged deadlock.
As per the power-sharing arrangement reached with allies, an MLA each from two small parties backing BJP in the coastal state will be made deputy chief minister, a leading news agency quoted party sources as saying.
The late night swearing-in ceremony was aimed at beating Goa governor Mridula Sinha’s midnight deadline to have a chief minister with a government in place. Else she would have had to place the state assembly under suspended animation and recommend President’s rule.
As per the power-sharing arrangement reached with allies, Goa Forward Party’s chief Vijai Sardesai and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party’s MLA Sudin Dhavalikar were to take oath as state deputy chief ministers.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s mortal remains were consigned to flames on Monday evening at Goa’s Miramar beach. Thousands of people congregated to bid him adieu.
The last rites of the 63-year-old leader, who breathed his last on Sunday after a long battle with cancer, were conducted with full military honours in Goa’s Miramar beach.
People from all walks of life bid him last farewell, as Parrikar’s body was consigned to flames at 6 pm amid chants of verses from Hindu religious texts.
Parikkar’s mortal remains were wrapped in tricolour and he was accorded a state funeral with full military honours as the crowds raised slogans of Vande Mataram.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari reached the venue to bid adieu to their former cabinet colleague and defense minister.