Pramod Sawant sworn in as Goa CM, 8 others sworn in as ministers

Mumbai: Pramod Sawant was sworn in as Goa’s chief minister for the second consecutive time on Monday, along with eight other ministers. PS Governor Sreedharan Pillai was sworn in during a ceremony held at Dr Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Stadium in Taleigao, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari as well as several Chief Ministers of BJP-led states. In March 2019, Sawant was sworn in as chief minister after the untimely demise of his predecessor Manohar Parrikar.

The eight MPs who were sworn in include Vishwajit Rane, Mauvin Godinho, Ravi Naik, Nilesh Cabral, Subhash Shirodkar, Rohan Khaunte, Govind Gaude and Atansio Monserrate – all from the BJP. Their portfolios are not yet announced.

The BJP has kept caste and community equations in mind in its selection of ministers. While Sawant and Rane are from the Maratha community, Godinho, Cabral and Monserrate are Christians. Khaunte is a Gaud Saraswat Brahmin while Gaude is from Scheduled Tribe. Ravi Naik is from the Bhandari community which has a large share in several constituencies of Goa.

Although the number of ministers who could be included in the government was 11 in addition to the chief minister, the Sawant government decided to induct three more ministers afterwards. BJP Head of State Sadanand Tanawade told reporters after the swearing-in that the other ministers would be inducted “within a month or two”.

The BJP is one point short of a majority of 21 in the 40-seat assembly and has the support of three independent MPs and two MPs from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP). There was much speculation about which of these MPs would find a place in the cabinet.

BJP leaders said they plan to induct MGP’s Sudhin Dhavalikar into the cabinet. “There is some opposition to his induction. However, if he merges MGP with our party, that shouldn’t be a problem. That’s why our party leader said it will take a month or two,” the BJP leader said.

The BJP is also in talks with Goa Forward Party leader Vijay Sardesai, the party’s sole MP. Sardesai was in alliance with Congress ahead of the Assembly polls. However, there are now chances that he will support the government. If that happens, he could be made a minister.

After being sworn in, Sawant said mining, job creation and tourism would be his priorities.

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