Pramod Sawant set to start 2nd term as Goa CM

In the 2022 polls, Dr Sawant faced a tough task but managed to win again with a margin of 666 votes against his nearest rival Dharmesh Saglani of the Congress.
Goa CM Pramod Sawant. (Photo | PTI)
Goa CM Pramod Sawant. (Photo | PTI)

The Ayurveda medical practitioner Dr Pramod Sawant will lead the BJP second time as Goa chief minister.

Dr Pramod Sawant is Maratha by caste initially started social work with Nehru Youth centre, but later he got attracted to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its social work. Dr Sawant in his early days worked as a doctor in government.

Apart from his official duty hours, Dr Sawant used to arrange the medical and health check-up camps through his NGO for the poor and needy people in various parts of Goa. The erstwhile chief minister of Goa late Manohar Parrikar saw the spark and social consciousness in Sawant and asked him to resign from government service and join politics.

Dr Sawant then contested the state byelections in 2008 on the BJP symbol after the seat was vacated after the demise of sitting MLA. But Sawant lost the elections narrowly to Congress candidate Pratap Gauns in Sankhalim (then Pale) Assembly segment. However, Sawant did not get disheartened with his electoral loss but started reaching out to people and become very much active in social work and politics.

In 2012, he managed to win the same seat and was given local board to head. Dr Sawant got re-elected in 2017 from Sankhalim and was made as Assembly Speaker. Then, after the demise of Manohar Parrikar in 2019, Sawant was the only BJP MLA who had not come from any political front in BJP, so he was the natural choice for the chief minister. It was big shoes to fill for Sawant but Sawant not only survived his government for the remaining years but brought 10 Congress MLA in BJP increasing BJP’s tally from 21 to 28 at the fag end of his government. It not only secured his chief minister chair but strengthened the party as well ahead of 2022 state polls.

In the 2022 polls, Dr Sawant faced a tough task but managed to win again with a margin of 666 votes against his nearest rival Dharmesh Saglani of the Congress. Despite this narrow margin victory, BJP leadership chose him to lead Goa again as chief minister reason under his leadership, BJP won the highest ever 20 seats despite having 10 years of anti-incumbency and without having an alliance with any local party. Manohar Parrikar won 21 seats in 2012 but that includes three seats of alliance partner MGP while in 2022, BJP on its own won 20 seats which are the highest ever tally of BJP in Goa.

“The biggest advantage of Sawant is he is a man of patience to hear out all sections of the society. He hardly stirs any controversy by making controversial statements. He is not an arrogant person. He has also a good grip over administration and emerged as Bahujan's face of the BJP in Goa therefore Catholic community also goes along with him without any issue. Under his leadership, BJP won seats in state polls where they never imagined to win that’s the magic of Sawant,” said Kishor Naik Gaonakar, editor of Goan Varta.

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