Murder of democracy? Questions raised on Goa’s 2 am swearing in ceremony as Pramod Sawant takes oath as new CM


BJP’s Pramod Sawant took oath as the new chief minister of Goa at around 2 am on Tuesday morning. Also taking oath of office were two newly appointed deputy chief minister, Goa Forward Party’s Vijai Sardesai and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party’s Sudin Dhavalikar.

Pramod Sawant
Photo: Hindustan Times

Governor Mridula Sinha also administered oath of office to new cabinet ministers including BJP’s Mauvin Godinho, Vishwajit Rane, Milind Naik and Nilesh Cabral, Goa Forward Party’s Vinod Palyekar and Jayesh Salgaonkar and two independent MLAs Rohan Khaunte and Govind Gawade.

Soon after taking oath as the new chief minister of Goa, Sawant said that his prime responsibility was to provide stability in the government. “I have to provide a stability and move ahead together with all allies. It’ll be my responsibility to complete the incomplete works. I will not be able to work as much as Manohar Parrikar ji but I will definitely try to work as much as possible,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.

The need to appoint a new chief minister became necessary after the death of Manohar Parrikar, who died battling pancreatic cancer on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Congress, which had staked claim to form the government in the coastal state, accused Governor Mridula Sinha of carrying a ‘deliberate murder of democracy.’ “We strongly condemn this deliberate murder of democracy by Governor of Goa and demand the President to dismiss the biased Governor Mridula Sinha and invite Congress party to form the Government immediately,” Sunil Kawthankar of the Congress told ANI.

Meanwhile social media users reacted angrily to the 2 am swearing-in ceremony. Academic Ashok Swain asked, “Why is BJP doing oath-taking ceremony in Goa at 2 am? Why is media silent?” Journalist Shahid Siddiqui tweeted, “At 2 am oath ceremony, Pramod Sawant takes over as Goa Chief Minister What a mockery of democracy. Midnight stealth attack on democracy. Democracy is openness & transparency, not to be practiced in the dark at midnight.”

Other social media users too expressed observations raising question on the BJP’s questionable intent behind the 2 am swearing-in ceremony.

Goa Assembly has 40 MLAS with BJP’s strength being reduced to 12 after the death of Parrikar. The Congress with 17 MLAs was the single largest party in 2017 assembly polls.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had arrived in Goa on Saturday night, immediately after the death of Parrikar to ensure that there was no defection of alliance partners to the Congress camp. The Congress too had written to Goa Governor Mridula Sinha before meeting her to stake its claim to form the government.

After holding discussion with Gadkari last night, Dhavalikar had projected himself as the next chief ministerial candidate. Later, Goa Assembly’s Deputy Speaker and BJP MLA, Michael Lobo, told reporters that Dhavalikar was indeed keen to become the chief minister. “He said he has sacrificed many times by supporting BJP, he has put his demand but the BJP will not agree to that,” Lobo was quoted as saying.

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