At 1.48 am, a minute after the national anthem was played in Goa’s Raj Bhavan, Dr. Pramod Sawant took oath as its chief minister. The 45-year-old MLA from Sanquelim constituency took charge of the office hours after his predecessor, Manohar Parrikar final rites were conducted with full state honours.
A two-time MLA who started as a karyakarta, Sawant steadily rose in rank and profile. While he has no political lineage, he is considered to have the backing of the RSS. His closeness to RSS was cited as one of the reasons why the allies (Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Goa Forward Party) and the three independents refused to extend support during the initial negotiations, sources say.
Sawant is a Ayurvedic medicine practitioner. His wife Sulakshana Sawant is the President of Goa Mahila Morcha.
The formal bugle of the BJP staking claiming was sounded around midnight with Union minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari arriving at the Raj Bhavan followed by the entourage of the to-be-sworn in leaders making their way inside the Raj Bhavan.
“We have the letter of support to form the government and we are submitting the same to the Governor,” Gadkari said while leaving hotel Cidade De Goa where he had been camping since Sunday. The hotel is hardly a few kilometres from Raj Bhavan.
Minutes after the swearing-in, Sawant told reporters that he will try his best to meet the expectations. “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 Manohar Parrikar,” Pramod Sawant told reporters