The new government in Goa will be sworn in after Holi, which falls on March 18, along with the three other states where BJP returned to power in recently-held polls, Goa BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanavade said on Monday.
”Swearing-in ceremony of the new government in Goa would be conducted post-Holi celebrations along with the other three states where BJP has won a majority,” Tanavade told reporters. He, however, didn’t specify the exact date of the swearing-in ceremony. Even four days after winning a maximum of 20 seats in the 40-member Goa Assembly, the BJP is yet to stake a claim to form the next government, which will be the third straight term of the saffron party.
Tanavade said the Goa governor has already administered the oath to Ganesh Gaonkar as pro-tem Speaker. The newly-elected members of the Goa Assembly will take oath on March 15, when the term of the current Assembly expires.
The governor has summoned the Assembly session on Tuesday.
Tanavade rubbished rumours about differences within the party unit over the leadership issue.
“There are no differences. The Central leadership will decide on the leadership,” he said when asked who will become the next chief minister of the coastal state.
According to sources, Vishwajit Rane, who had served as health minister in the Sawant cabinet, has thrown his hat in the ring for the CM’s post citing his better victory margin in recent polls compared to incumbent CM Pramod Sawant. Rane represents the Valpoi seat.
When asked about the inclusion of the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP) in the new government, Tanavade said that the Central leadership will take the appropriate call.
He, however, admitted that 80 per cent of the new MLAs of BJP are against taking support of the MGP to form the new government.
“I am getting calls from BJP workers who have expressed their reservation against the induction of MGP in the new government,” he said, adding that even some blocs of BJP have resolved against the MGP.
Shortly after BJP won 20 seats in the recent polls, just one short of the magic figure, the MGP lost no time to extend the support of its two elected members to the saffron party. Besides, three Independents have also backed the BJP. After the 2017 Goa polls, the BJP, despite winning fewer seats than the Congress, had formed its government with the support of the MGP, the oldest regional party in Goa, and the Goa Forward Party (GFP) under the leadership of Manohar Parrikar.
However, Pramod Sawant, who succeeded Parrikar as the chief minister after the death of the BJP stalwart in March 2019, dropped deputy CM Sudin Dhavalikar after two MLAs of the latter’s MGP broke away and joined the ruling BJP.
The MGP had contested the recent polls in alliance with the TMC, which drew a blank in its maiden polls in Goa.
BJP’s nearest challenger Congress won 11 seats, MGP 2, AAP 2, GFP 1, Revolutionary Goans 1, and Independents 3 in recent polls in Goa.