New Goa government delayed as allies yet to agree on CM

Panaji: The swearing-in of a new BJP-led government in Goa has been delayed as potential allies appear to have, for now, baulked at its attempts to nominate Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant for the Chief Minister’s post.

After stating earlier on Monday that the new Chief Minister would be sworn in soon after 3 p.m., state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar now claims that the swearing-in ceremony had been “slightly delayed”.

Sawant has been tipped by the BJP leaders to succeed Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who died on Sunday after suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer for over a year.

Leaders of regional parties and independent MLAs, who are in touch with the BJP over formation of a new coalition government, insist that talks are still on and they have not been informed of any swearing-in ceremony schedule yet.

“Now we are going for the funeral. Nothing about the swearing-in ceremony has been finalised,” Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai, who was a minister in the Parrikar government, told reporters.

“I am not aware of when the swearing in ceremony will be held,” Independent MLA Govind Gaude, who was also a minister, said.

Speaking to reporters at the resort near here where hectic discussions among BJP leaders and potential alliance partners are taking place, BJP MLA Michael Lobo said the “swearing-in will take place only when alliance members agree”.