Panaji: Newly-appointed Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Tuesday met family members of his deceased predecessor Manohar Parrikar before assuming charge of the office, hours after he took the oath of the post at around 2 AM. Sawant visited the family members of Parrikar at their private residence at Dona Paula near here around 12 noon, before heading to the CM’s Office at state Secretariat, Porvorim. Speaking to reporters, the new chief minister said his priority would be to reach out to every person and carry forward the “glorious legacy” of good governance left behind by Parrikar. Sawant, a BJP MLA, was sworn in as new Chief Minister just before 2 am Tuesday, hours after the cremation of Parrikar, as the BJP moved swiftly to snuff out Congress’ attempts to wrest power in Goa.
Sawant, a protege of Parrikar, was Speaker of the Legislative Assembly when he was picked to be the successor of Parrikar. “Manohar Parrikar is a father-like figure for me. He was my inspiration…everything. I am here only because of him…I became MLA, then Speaker, and now only because of Parrikar,” Sawant told reporters after meeting kin of the late chief minister. When asked to list his priorities, Sawant said, “As a chief minister, my aim would be to reach out to every person and complete his works”.
Sawant also appealed that he not be greeted with bouquets for being the new CM, as the state is in the morning. “I have taken charge with great humility and gratitude towards my idol and mentor Manohar bhai (Parrikar). I seek your blessings and support to carry forward the glorious legacy of commitment towards good governance,” he said. In the wake of the fluid political situation in Goa and Congress’ repeated attempts to wrest power, the BJP leadership ensured that the new chief minister was in place quickly. Sawant was sworn in by governor Mridula Sinha at Raj Bhavan at 1.50 am. Sinha also administered the oath of office to 11 other ministers, including those from BJP’s allies MGP and the GFP. Parrikar died at his private residence Sunday evening due to pancreatic cancer. He was cremated with full state and military honours Monday evening.