The BJP on Monday announced that three-time MLA Pramod Sawant, 48, will continue as the chief minister of Goa for a second term after he was unanimously elected the legislature party head.
Soon after Sawant was elected the leader of the legislature party in the two-hour long meeting, the BJP staked a claim to form the new government with support from two MGP MLAs and three Independent legislators for a third straight term.
"It has been decided that Dr Pramod Sawant would be the leader of the House," central observer Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar told reporters after the meeting.
Tomar said MLA Vishwajit Rane, who was being seen as a strong contender for the CM's post, proposed Sawant's name as the leader of the BJP legislature party. "His proposal was seconded by other MLAs, including Mauvin Godinho and Rohan Khaunte," he said.
“I would first like to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, our party president J P Nadda ji and Union Home Minister Amit (bhai) Shah for giving me one more opportunity to be the CM and the leader of the legislature party. I am grateful to our party leaders for reposing faith in me again. We have the support of the MGP and we will together stake claim to form the government,” Sawant said after he was declared the chief minister designate
Sawant said his incoming government will work with full transparency" and take forward the mission of 'Swayampurna Goa 2.0', which is an extension of the PM's 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' programme. He said said creation of adequate infrastructure and human development would be the focus areas of the state government in the next five years.
Sawant said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President J P Nadda will attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new government for which a date is yet to be decided.
The 48-year-old politician is a three-time MLA from Sankhalim in North Goa. He was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly when the BJP formed its government under the leadership of Parrikar in 2017. He was sworn-in as the chief minister for the first time in March 2019 after the death of Parrikar.
Sawant, an Ayurveda medical practitioner, was at the helm when Goa faced the COVID-19 pandemic along with other parts of the country.