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Pramod Sawant: Ayurvedic practitioner-turned politician is new Goa CM

Pramod Sawant was sworn-in as Goa CM at 0200 hrs on Tuesday morning after a day of intense political tussle and speculation. He replaces Manohar Parrikar who had died on Sunday.

Pramod Sawant: Ayurvedic practitioner-turned politician is new Goa CM
BJP's Pramod Sawant is believed to have been close to Manohar Parrikar and takes over as Goa CM after his death. (PTI file photo)

The circumstances surrounding Pramod Sawant's rise to the post of Goa chief minister may be unfortunate but choosing him shows the faith that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has in him.

Sawant, 45, was chosen and sworn-in as Goa's CM in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, a day after Manohar Parrikar was cremated. He had died on Sunday at age 63. While Parrikar had been suffering from a pancreatic ailment since February of 2018, the demise of the seasoned politician left a void in Goa's politics.

It is a void that Sawant will now look to fill.

An Ayurvedic practitioner by profession - with a Bachelors degree, Sawant represents Sanquelim Assembly constituency. He was the Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly till his promotion to the post of CM. His unflinching support to BJP's principles and ideology has been long known which made him the party's ideal candidate to be the next Goa CM. His wife, Sulakshana, is the president of BJP Mahila Morcha's Goa unit.

Sawant's path to the CM's chair, however, has been ridden with obstacles with BJP's allies in Goa demanding the post for their respective leaders. Even Congress staked claim to form the government, basing their argument on the fact that it was the single-largest party here and that BJP's allies had come together on the condition that Parrikar would be CM. With Parrikar's death, Congress said BJP was alone.

The political tussle may have threatened to toss Goa into political turmoil but BJP's eventual decision to go forward with Sawant reflects the faith that the party has in him.