Sawant to succeed Parrikar as Goa CM

Sawant to succeed Parrikar as Goa CMPramod Sawant
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Goa Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant is set to be the next Chief Minister of the coastal state after Manohar Parrikar's death on Sunday, sources said Sawant is likely to get two deputies - one from each alliance partner - as tough negotiations were carried out through Monday alongside national mourning for Parrikar.

Panaji: Goa Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant is set to be the next Chief Minister of the coastal state after Manohar Parrikar's death on Sunday, sources said Sawant is likely to get two deputies - one from each alliance partner - as tough negotiations were carried out through Monday alongside national mourning for Parrikar. Goa Forward Party's Vijai Sardesai and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party's (MGP) Sudin Dhavalikar are likely to be the Deputy CMs, sources said.

Sources said MGP and GFP relented on Sawant being made the CM after bagging the deputy CM posts. The name of Goa health minister Vishwajit Rane was also doing the rounds for the top post.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari said that a consensus still eluded the BJP and its allies on the next Goa chief minister following the death of Parrikar. He said the BJP had zeroed in on the next CM candidate but its allies in the state were yet to get on board. He, however, did not reveal who the BJP had chosen.

There had been a series of meetings involving the Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party's three MLAs each, an equal number of Independents, and BJP legislators since late on Sunday to reach a consensus on Parrikar's successor. Gadkari had flown into the state early Monday to lead the discussion. "We are yet to reach a consensus (with allies) on a candidate for the CM's post. We are in talks with our alliance partners, Gadkari said.

Earlier in the afternoon, Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai said the stalemate over the issue continued as the BJP was yet to clarify on some apprehensions he and other allies had raised. He said the parties expressed apprehensions on how to proceed in the absence of Parrikar. "We are expecting them to respond to our apprehensions soon," he added. The GFP leader, however, said the party had not yet shut its doors on the BJP.

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