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Goa assembly speaker Pramod Sawant to be the next CM of the state

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. Photograph:( WION )

WION Web Team Panaji, Goa, India Mar 18, 2019, 01.13 PM (IST)

Pramod Sawant, the Speaker of Goa Assembly, will be the new chief minister of the state. The decision was taken at a meeting of BJP legislators in Panaji.

Manohar Parrikar, the Goa CM, had died on Sunday leaving the state in a political crisis. The state leaders had huddled together to find Parrikar's replacement; Sawant emerged as the frontrunner.

Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party leader Sudhin Dhawalikar and Goa Forward Party's Vijay Sardesai - both allies of the BJP in Goa - were the other leaders in the race.

Sawant is a young leader who was trusted by Parrikar with the Speaker's job in the House where defection is a usual thing. But, more than that, while he was bed-ridden, Parrikar always used to send Sawant to attend various public functions in his place. 

Sawant represents Sanqelim constituency from central Goa. He also enjoys support from both Hindus and Catholics in the state.

The BJP had deputed Nitin Gadkari to handle the affairs in Goa and find Parrikar's successor. The Union minister, who reached Goa late on Sunday night, met several BJP leaders and party's allies.

The new chief minister is expected to take oath today.

(With inputs from agencies)