Pramod Sawant, who led the BJP to win 20 seats in the recently concluded elections to the 40-member Goa Assembly, was sworn in as the state’s Chief Minister for the second time on Monday.
Goa Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai administered the oath to 48-year-old Mr Sawant in a ceremony at the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee stadium near the state capital Panaji.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, BJP national president JP Nadda, Himachal Pradesh Governor Rajendra Arlekar, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanavis were among those who attended the event.
Mr Sawant took the oath in Konkani language and his ceremony marked the second time that a Goa Chief Minister was sworn in outside the Raj Bhavan.
In 2012, Manohar Parrikar had taken oath as the Chief Minister at Campal ground in the state capital Panaji after the BJP emerged as the single largest party in the House.
Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai has summoned a two-day session of the new Assembly from Tuesday during which Mr Sawant will have to seek a vote of confidence, officials had earlier said.
A new Speaker would also be elected during the session, which is expected to complete a range of legislative business, including passing of bills and a vote-on-account (an exercise to deal with short-term expenditure needs of government), they said.
In the recently concluded state polls, the BJP won 20 seats, one short of the majority in the 40-member House. Three independent MLAs and two legislators of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) have extended support to the BJP.
Mr Sawant, 48, is an MLA from Sankhalim in North Goa. He was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly when the BJP formed its government under the leadership of Manohar Parrikar in 2017.
He was sworn-in as the chief minister for the first time in March 2019 after Parrikar’s death.
Mr Sawant, an Ayurveda medical practitioner, was at the helm when the coastal state faced the COVID-19 pandemic along with other parts of the country.