KODEL: There are at least three newly elected MLAs staking their claim to be chief minister, apart from Pramod Sawant there is Vishwajit Rane, Sudin Dhavlikar and Ravi Naik.

By Rajan Narayan

Pramod Sawant will have to run much faster if he wants to retain the chief ministership. There are many wannabe rabbits already hopping around like Vishwajeet Rane and Sudin Dhavalikar. Pramod Sawant will have to match the fastest man on earth Usain Bolt if he wants to retain his chief minister’s kodel.

THE results of the Valentine’s Day election to the 40 assembly seats were announced on March 10, 2022. This time around the BJP did not have to do any poaching. The BJP managed to secure 20 seats in the Legislative Assembly on its own. The MGP led by Sudin Dhavalikar promptly abandoned the TMC and extended support to the BJP. All the three Independents including surprisingly, Reginaldo Lourenco, have decided to back the BJP. With the strength of 25 the BJP could have staked its claim on March 10, counting day itself. The BJP had claimed that it would go to the governor on counting day itself after the results and stake its claim to form the government.
As on March 17, 2022, the BJP was yet to approach the governor and stake its claim to form the government. Unlike in 2017, the BJP did not need to poach any MLAs. It may be recalled that in 2017, the BJP which got only 13 seats, managed to persuade Goa Forward, the MGP and several independents to secure the majority and form the government.While alliance partners are needed sometimes to form the government, particularly if no single party crosses the magical figure of 21 in the Goa assembly, they can also be a nuisance.

THE MGP has already claimed its share of the spoils. No doubt the Curtorim MLA, Reginaldo Lourenco, who kept hopping like a rabbit, expects to be included in the cabinet. In addition, the three independents will also expect their reward. If the BJP parts with five cabinet posts with the MGP and the three independents, it will not have enough cabinet votes for its own candidates who won the election.
The more complicated dilemma of the BJP is the choice of the chief minister. Pramod Sawant seems to have assumed wrongly that he would be the automatic choice even before the BJP could make a decision. Vishwajit Rane, who was among the first to switch to the BJP before the 2020 elections, visited Delhi to meet Narendra Modi. Rane also called on the Governor Sreedharan Pillai on what he claims is a courtesy visit. Clearly Vishwajeet Rane had gone to preempt the possibility of Pramod Sawant being called to form the government. A nervous Pramod Sawant promptly followed the example of Vishwajeet Rane and went and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament. The Lok Sabha budget session has resumed but Pramod Sawant did not have the patience to wait to meet Narendra Modi.

IT IS not just Vishwajeet Rane who is convinced that he is the ideal candidate for the chief minister’s post. Vishwajeet has the support of his wife Divya whom he got elected from Poriem. Dr Divya commented to a query from a reporter that Vishwajeet Rane was the most experienced, having been an MLA and a minister for 15 years. Besides Vishwajeet, Sudin Dhavlikar has also staked his claim. Sudin had visited Delhi and reminded the BJP high command that in 2017, he had come to the help of the BJP which had desperately been looking for alliance partners. Sudin had also pointed out that ideologically both the BJP and the MGP are committed to Hindutva. Part of which is true as Sudin Dhavlikar is the patron of the Hindu Janajagruti and its affiliate Sanatan Sanstha which are both extreme communal organizations.
The others for the chief minister’s post are Ravi Naik, former Congress chief minister who contested as a BJP candidate in Ponda and won. Porvorim’s MLA of years Rohan Khaunte, who switched to the BJP very recently, also expects to be rewarded.
At the peak of the first phase of Covid, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked all Indians to come to their balconies and make as much noise as they could by banging kitchen vessels. Crores of Indians came out and banged their steel plates with a spoon shouting “Go, Corona Go!” The Prime Minister himself participated in this ingenious method of chasing away the Covid-19 corona virus. This time around in Goa there are all the aspirants for the chief minister’s post standing near the assembly gates, before the BJP headquarters in Delhi, banging plates. They are banging plates and making a noise not to drive away Covid-19’s corona virus.

MERCIFULLY, even the third phase of Covid-19 appears to be over. They are making noises outside Parliament and the Legislative Assembly in Goa, with a new slogan, “Go Pramod Sawant, Go!” The appointment of Pramod Sawant as chief minister after Manohar Parrikar passed away was resented by several BJP leaders. Former chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar protested the longest. Pramod Sawant deepened the antagonism by depriving Laxmikant Parsekar even a ticket to contest from Mandrem and from there Parsekar has won at least three times.
The BJP high command managed to transfer the other senior leader Rajendra Arlekar, who was one of the founding members of the BJP. Chandrakant Kavlekar, who may have staked his claim, was defeated. However, Ravi Naik, the former one time Congress chief minister who defected to the BJP, and won by a narrow margin of 77 votes — he will still expect to be made the chief minister.
The only option before Pramod Sawant is to go to the residence of every senior member of the BJP high command and create a racket. The last time around the BJP high command had sent Nitin Gadkari, Union Transport Minister to create a winning coalition. This time around it only sent former Maharashtra chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis.
Another factor which goes against Pramod Sawant is that he won the assembly election by a narrow margin. His only option is to ask all the residents of Goa, including the bhumiputra, to go around banging on their plates with spoons and other instruments to the tune of “Pramod is the best!” Though the chances of this happening are not very high. The only thing going for Pramod Sawant is that he is the only karyakarta of the RSS among the candidates who want to be chief minister.

One thought on “RUN, PRAMOD SAWANT RUN!”

  1. MGP will get the benefits from the BJP and after 4 years MGP will resign from the BJP and MGP will contest election against the BJP. MGP is doing this for the BJP in the last every election.

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