ADVERTISEMENT

Goa

Parrikar cremated with full military, state honours

The last rites of Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who died on Sunday after suffering from pancreatic cancer for over a year, were held with full military and state honours at the Miramar beach here on Monday evening.
Manohar Parrikar
Manohar Parrikar
The last rites of Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who died on Sunday after suffering from pancreatic cancer for over a year, were held with full military and state honours at the Miramar beach here on Monday evening.
 
Thousands of supporters and BJP workers accompanied the funeral cortege from the Kala Academy Arts and Cultural Centre, where the remains had been kept throughout the day for the public to pay last respects to the nearby Miramar beach.
 
The mortal remains of Parrikar, wrapped in the national tri-colour, were placed on a pyre amid a 21 gun salute at the beach and his elder son Utpal Parrikar consigned it to flames.
 
Parrikar, 63, is survived by two sons, two daughters in-law and a grandson.
 
Top BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Irani, Suresh Prabhu and Ramdas Athawale offered floral tributes to Parrikar.
 
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also paid his last respects.
 
Parrikar was Chief Minister of Goa on four separate occasions, but could not complete a single term in office. He served as Defence Minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet from 2014-17 before returning to state politics.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Goa CM Manohar Parrikar passes away after long battle with cancer

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar passed away at his private residence in Panaji on Sunday evening after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer.
Manohar Parrikar
Manohar Parrikar
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar passed away at his private residence here on Sunday evening after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. 
 
He was 63.
 
The condition of Parrikar, diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer in February last year and in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, Delhi and New York since then, had turned "extremely critical" on Sunday, the Chief Minister's Office tweeted earlier in the day.
 
President Ram Nath Kovind expressed his grief.
 
"Extremely sorry to hear of the passing of Shri Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister of Goa, after an illness borne with fortitude and dignity. An epitome of integrity and dedication in public life, his service to the people of Goa and of India will not be forgotten," he said in a tweet.
 
Other leaders, cutting across party lines, mourned his death.
 
"Shri Manohar Parrikar is no more. A sincere, honest & sensitive political activist. Was simple and down to earth, I learnt a lot from Shri.Parrikar. As Raksha Mantri his contribution to making the armed forces a modernised, lean & mean fighting machine will remain unparalleled, tweeted Defence Minister Nirmala Sithraman.
 
"Extremely saddened by the untimely demise of my good friend Manohar Parrikar ji. An epitome of impeccable integrity, a down to earth personality, the first IITian to become CM of a state, great son of India gone too soon... RIP my dear friend...," Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet.
 
"I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Goa CM, Shri Manohar Parrikar Ji, who bravely battled a debilitating illness for over a year. Respected and admired across party lines, he was one of Goa's favourite sons. My condolences to his family in this time of grief," tweeted Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
 
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi tweeted, "My condolences to the bereaved family of Shri. Manohar Parrikar. I met him only once, when he graciously visited my mother at the hospital two years ago. May his soul rest in peace."
 
The first Bharatiya Janata Party leader to be Goa Chief Minister, Parrikar headed the state from 2000-05 and 2012-14, before joining the Narendra Modi government as Defence Minister from 2014.
 
The country's first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) alumnus to serve as Chief Minister of a state, he assumed the mantle on four occasions from 2000, but could not complete a single full term in office.
 
He returned to state politics in 2017 to lead a coalition government headed by the BJP and continued in office despite his protracted illness and amid criticism from the Opposition and civil society, which had repeatedly demanded his resignation on health grounds.
 
A widower, Parrikar is survived by his two sons, Utpal and Abhijat, their wives and a grandson.
 
IANS
 

Parrikar quits as Defence Minister, to be sworn in as Goa CM on Tuesday

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Manohar Parrikar on Monday resigned as the Defence Minister and will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Goa on Tuesday at the head of a BJP-led coalition government that will be formed by the party with the support of regional outfits and independent legislators.
Manohar Parrikar
Manohar Parrikar
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manohar Parrikar today resigned as the Defence Minister and will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Goa tomorrow at the head of a BJP-led coalition government that will be formed by the party with the support of regional outfits and independent legislators.
 
"The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has accepted the resignation of Shri Manohar Parrikar, from the Council of Ministers, with immediate effect, under clause (2) of Article 75 of the Constitution," a press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
 
Further, as advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee has also assigned the charge of the Ministry of Defence to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in addition to his existing portfolios, the communique added.
 
Mr. Jaitley held the Defence portfolio as an additional charge in the initial months after the Narendra Modi government assumed office at the Centre in May 2014. He relinquished the charge in November 2014 when Mr. Parrikar, who was Chief Minister of Goa, was shifted to the Centre as the Defence Minister.
 
The Congress had emerged as the single largest party in the elections to the Goa Legislative Assembly, polling for which was held on February 4 and votes counted on March 11, with 17 seats in the 40-member house. 
 
The ruling BJP ended up with 13 seats, with Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and many of his Cabinet colleagues losing their seats. However, the BJP has managed to get support from two regional outfits -- the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Goa Forward Party -- which won three seats each as well as two of the three independents. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The 13 BJP MLAs and the other eight legislators met Governor Mridula Sinha yesterday evening and she later invited Mr. Parrikar to form the new government.  
 
Mr. Parrikar will have to be elected to the State Assembly within six months in keeping with the Constitutional requirements. He is currently a member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Parliament, from Uttar Pradesh.
 
For Mr. Parrikar, 61, this will be his third time as Chief Minister of Goa, having first served in that position from October 2000 to February 2005 and then from March 9, 2012 till Novemer 9, 2014. He had also served as Leader of the Opposition in the Goa Legislative Assembly from June 1999 to November 1999 and from June 2005 to March 2012. In all, he was elected six times to the Goa Assembly since 1994. 
 
He has a B.Tech. in Metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai and was the first IIT alumnus to serve as the Chief Minister of a state.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Assembly elections: Counting of votes to be taken up on Saturday

Counting of votes will begin on Saturday morning in the crucial elections to the State Legislative Assemblies of five States -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa -- and most of the results are expected to be out within a few hours after that.
ADVERTISEMENT
Counting of votes will begin tomorrow morning in the crucial elections to the State Legislative Assemblies of five States -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa -- and the keenly-awaited results are expected to have far-reaching implications for national politics.
 
The elections in five States have taken place mid-way through the five-year term of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and just weeks after the sudden decision of the government on November 8 to demonetise Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 banknotes.
 
Polling in Uttar Pradesh -- India's most populous state -- was held in seven phases between February 11 and March 8, while Manipur had polling in two phases on March 4 and 8. Punjab and Goa had single-phase polling on February 4 and Uttarakhand had single-phase voting on February 15.
 
The terms of the Goa, Manipur and Punjab assemblies are due to normally expire on March 18, Uttarakhand on March 26 and Uttar Pradesh on May 27.
 
The Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly has 403 seats, including 84 reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) and two for Scheduled Tribes. Punjab Assembly has 117 seats (34 SC), Goa 40 (1 SC), Uttarakhand 70 (13 SC, 2 ST) and Manipur 60 (1 SC, 19 ST).
 
The Election Commission will give out counting trends and results of the elections through its website from 8 am tomorrow.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Among other things, the website will give details such as the number of votes secured by the candidates round-wise and constituency-wise and political party-wise and candidate-wise trends.
 
The website can also be accessed through the main website of the Election Commission of India.
 
For the first time, the Commission will also provide analytics through interactive dashboard in the form of clickable infographics. Users can download data, crosstab, PDF and images for analysing the elections further at their end. It will include comparative analytics between 2012 and 2017. 
 
An official press release said users will get constituency analysis with respect to participation of electors (constituencies with more female electors, constituencies by slabs of voter turnout, turnout by poll days) and candidates (gender wise participants, winners and major competitors). To assess performance of political parties, analysis on seats won by them, the percentage vote-share in the State and the profile (age and social category)of candidates fielded by them have been included. Candidates have been mapped to their constituencies and the votes polled in their favour, it said.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Punjab, Goa go to the polls to elect new legislative assemblies

Punjab and Goa went to the polls on Saturday to elect new state legislative assemblies -- the first two of five states holding crucial elections midway through the five-year term of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and two months after the November 8 demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 bank notes.
 
Voters queue to cast their votes amidst tight security
Punjab and Goa went to the polls today to elect new state legislative assemblies -- the first two of five states holding crucial elections midway through the five-year term of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and two months after the November 8 demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 bank notes.
 
Voters began queueing outside polling stations in both states from early morning and their numbers were steadily increasing as the day progressed. 
 
Voting, which began at 7 am in Goa and at 8 am in Punjab, will end at 5 pm in both states.
 
Polling also took place today for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, which fell vacant after the resignation of Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh.
 
The Punjab Assembly has 117 seats and the Goa Assembly 40 seats and both states have single-phase polling today.
 
Uttarakhand will have single-phase polling on February 15, Manipur will have polling in two phases on March 4 and 8 and Uttar Pradesh, the country's most populous state, will have polling in seven phases between February 11 and March 8.
 
Counting of votes in all the five states will be taken up on March 11 and all the results are expected by late evening that day.
 
The terms of the Goa and Punjab assemblies are due to expire on March 18.
 
The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for smooth, free and fair elections in both the states.
 
Punjab has a total of 19879069 voters, including 10503108 males and  9375546 females. There are 1145 candidates in the fray, including 81 women and one of the third gender. The Election Commission has set up 22,615 polling stations across the state.
 
In Goa, there are a total of  1110884 electors, including 546742 men and 564142 women. A total of 251 candidates, including 19 women, are in the fray.  The Commission has set up 1642 polling stations across the state.
 
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is making a determined effort for another term in office in Goa, while the Congress is hoping to come back to power in Goa. The three-party alliance forged by Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Goa Suraksha Manch and Shiv Sena is the other major player in the state.
 
Similarly in Punjab, the Congress is trying to wrest power back from the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP combine, which has been in office for a decade.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the ruling party in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, has gone all out to emerge as the alternative to the established players in both the states.
 
In Punjab, SAD leader and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, 89, is seeking re-election for the sixth time. He will face Capt. Amarinder Singh, the chief ministerial candidate of the Congress, in the Lambi constituency. The Congress leader is also contesting the elections from his traditional seat of Patiala, where his opponent is former Army chief Gen J J Singh, a candidate of the SAD.
 
The Chief Minister's son Sukhbir Singh will face AAP's Bhagwant Mann, MP, who is his party's likely chief ministerial candidate, in Jalalabad.
 
Former Indian Test cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, who joined the Congress weeks ahead of the polls, is contesting from Amritsar East, a part of the Amrtisar Lok Sabha constituency that he represented in Parliament as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for two terms.
 
Prominent candidates in Goa include Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar (BJP) and five former Chief Ministers -- Ravi Naik, Digambar Kamat, Pratapsinh Rane and Luizinho Faleiro (Congress) and Churchill Alemao (NCP). There have been indications that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar might return to Goa as Chief Minister if the BJP retains power.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Father, son die in Goa road accident

ADVERTISEMENT
Locals set a jeep driven by a Maharashtra-based driver on fire after a father and son duo were killed in a head-on collision at the Siolim-Chopdem bridge on Sunday morning.
 
The deceased, who died on the spot, have been identified as Judas Fernandes and his son Joao, both residents of Chopdem village in North Goa, who were heading for Sunday church services.
 
According to police Inspector Navlesh Dessai, the incident occurred after a jeep bearing a Maharashtra registration, driven by one Shekhar Dube from Mumbai, switched lanes and slammed into the oncoming car being driven by Fernandes.
 
"We have conducted a panchanama. Since the accused has also incurred injuries, a formal FIR will be filed soon," the official said.
 
Angry locals, who had gathered at the accident site, set fire to the jeep soon after the collision.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Low pressure area over Arabian Sea likely to intensify into cyclone: IMD

A low-pressure area has formed over southeast and eastcentral Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep Islands and was likely to intensify into a depression and then into a cyclonic storm in the next two days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said.
 
"It is very likely to intensify into a depression over Southeast & adjoining Eastcentral Arabian Sea during next 48 hours. It is likely to move north-northwestwards and intensify further into a cyclonic storm during subsequent 24 hours," a bulletin issued by IMD yesterday afternoon said.
 
Under its influence, heavy rains are likely over some parts of Kerala, Lakshadweep, coastal Karnataka, south interior Karnataka and Konkan & Goa during this period.
 
The bulletin also said that strong winds, with speed reaching 40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, were very likely to prevail over southeast and adjoining Lakshadweep and eastcentral Arabian Sea, Kerala and Karnataka coasts today.
 
"Wind speed is very likely to increase gradually and become squally wind speed reaching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph over eastcentral & adjoining southeast Arabian Sea on 11th June 2019. It is very likely to be 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph over Lakshadweep area, Kerala, Karnataka & south Maharashtra Coasts on the same day. Sea conditions are likely to be rough over the above areas.
 
"Wind speed is very likely to increase further becoming gale wind speed reaching 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph over eastcentral & adjoining northeast Arabian Sea on 12th June 2019 and become 90-100 kmph gusting to 110 kmph over north Arabian Sea on 13th June 2019. It is very likely to be 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph over Gujarat & Maharashtra coasts on 12th and 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph over entire Gujarat and north Maharashtra coasts on 13th June, 2019," the bulletin said.
 
Sea conditions are likely to be very rough to high over these areas during this period and fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea.
 
NNN

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Goa airport services suspended for 2 hours

ADVERTISEMENT
All flight operations at Goa's Dabolim International Airport have been suspended for two hours on Saturday afternoon after a detachable fuel tank attached to a MiG-29K aircraft fell on the runway, spilling fuel and causing minor damage to the landing and take-off strip, an AAI spokesperson said.
 
"Due to jettisoned fuel tank on the runway during MiG sortie the operations are closed for two hours at Goa airport. Pl bear with us," Airport Authority of India (AAI) Goa tweeted on its official Twitter handle on Saturday afternoon. 
 
Airport operations are likely to commence at around 4 p.m.
 
A spokesperson for the airport said that Indian Navy personnel were at the site, cleaning the fuel from the runway and carrying out repairs along the stretch.
 
"These are external fuel tanks outfitted to aircraft in order to enable them to cover more distance. One such tank attached to a MiG-29K got jettisoned off the jet during a sortie and landed on the runway," the spokesperson told IANS.
 
The airport is operated from Indian naval base INS Hansa located in the South Goa district.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Polish girl writes to Modi for her return to India

ADVERTISEMENT
After her mother failed to attract the attention of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, her 11-year-old Polish girl has now written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking their return to India.
 
Alicja Wanatko, in her handwritten letter to Modi and newly appointed External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, has also invoked her love for Lord Shiva, the Nanda Devi mountain and her fond memories of caring of cows during her stay in Goa.
 
"I love my school in Goa, the beautiful nature and I am missing my volunteering in the animal rescue centre there where I was helping to take care of cows. My mum could not re-enter India on 24th March, 2019 after a short trip out and we were told we were blacklisted due to our overstay," Alicja has said in her letter, which was tweeted to Modi and Jaishankar by her mother Marta Kotlarska.
 
Her mother, Marta, an artist and photographer, who was on a multiple entry B-2 business visa to India, was turned away from the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, after she returned on March 24, from Sri Lanka, where she had gone to renew her Indian visa.
 
With her daughter studying in Goa, Martha had to wait in Thailand before she was allowed to return to India, pick up her daughter and leave the country within a few days.
 
The mother and daughter are currently in Cambodia, awaiting a possible return to India, where Alicja claims, she is now rooted in Hinduism and spirituality, and in her letter says "despite not being Indian citizens, we call it home".
 
"I am now with my mum, but am missing my old life in my favourite country more than ever. I feel so alone away from everything I have always known in India. I know my animals will be so confused without me and I cannot sleep without feeling angry or upset.
 
"It feels like everything is just destroyed again. I pray to Shiva and Nanda Devi to help us and I have decided to write to you because you are the most powerful person that can help me and my mum come back to India, my home. Please help us and allow to remove us from this blacklist," she added.
 
Her mother had similarly pleaded to Sushma Swaraj in April where she claimed that she was blacklisted by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office in Chamoli in Uttarakhand for overstaying "due to a misunderstanding".
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

BJP wins 1 LS seat, 3 Assembly bye-elections in Goa

ADVERTISEMENT
In what could be described as a mixed bag of results, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Goa won one Lok Sabha seat, but lost the other amid a saffron tsunami in the country on Thursday.
 
However, the BJP won three Assembly bye-elections in the state, while losing the prestigious Panaji Assembly seat, which was held by the ruling party since 1994.
 
Victory in three Assembly seats has now put the BJP-led coalition government in the state on a firm footing, according to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
 
Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik won the North Goa Lok Sabha seat by over 80,247 votes against his nearest Congress rival Girish Chodankar, who polled 1,64,597 votes.
 
Naik, a four-time MP, battled both anti-incumbency as well as a potential backlash from the aggrieved sections of Goa's banned mining belt, but managed to ride the proverbial Modi wave to victory.
 
"The victory exposes the Opposition's negative campaign. The people of North Goa are with Modiji," Naik said.
 
In the South Goa Lok Sabha constituency, sitting BJP MP Narendra Sawaikar conceded defeat even before the final votes could be tallied.
 
While Sawaikar polled 1,91,806 votes, Congress' Francisco Sardinha, a former Chief Minister of Goa, got 2,01,561 votes.
 
"I accept my defeat. I thank everyone for the support and co-operation shown to me throughout my tenure as an MP," Sawaikar said.
 
The BJP performed creditably in the Assembly bye-elections, winning three of the four seats. The significant loss came in the Panaji Assembly seat, which was held by the BJP since 1994, largely represented by the late Manohar Parrikar. 
 
"It is time to put Panaji on the development track after 25 years of inefficiency," said Congress' Atanasio Monserrate after he beat the BJP's Sidharth Kuncalienkar by 1,758 votes.
 
Meanwhile, Chodankar accepted responsibility for Congress' defeat in North Goa and in the three Assembly bye-elections but maintained that by winning the prestigious Panaji Assembly seat, the Congress had "wrested the heart" of Goa from the BJP.
 
"As the state President, I accept moral responsibility for the Congress' losses... But Panaji is the heart of BJP and Goa and the Congress has won it after 25 years. I want to thank the people of Panaji for this," Chodankar said.
 
BJP's Dayanand Sopte, Subhash Shirodkar and Joshua D'Souza won the Assembly bye-elections in Shiroda, Mandrem and Mapusa, respectively, the latter two by relatively narrow margins.
 
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the three bye-election wins, which took his party's tally to 17 in the 40-member Goa legislative Assembly, would lend further stability to the coalition government in the state.
 
"The government will be more stable now with these wins," Sawant told reporters.
 
According to political analyst and former Independent MLA Radharao Gracias, the BJP-led coalition government is now "mathematically" stable.
 
"To add to the mathematical stability, there is the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre," Gracias said.
 
And signs are that BJP's local allies, such as Goa Forward Party (GFP), which have blown hot and cold against the majority alliance partner in the past, already appear to have fallen in line, especially with the mammoth victory projected for the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combination.
 
"As partners in the NDA, I congratulate you on your personal victory and your party's win. May this historic win pave the way for even closer partnership between our parties in the state and help take Goa forward," Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai of the GFP said soon after the counting trends suggested a big win for the NDA.
 
Sawant's government is supported by three MLAs of the GFP and three Independents, which takes its tally to 23 in the 40-member House.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Panaji Assembly bye-election: BJP loses late Parrikar's seat to Congress

ADVERTISEMENT
After 25 years of uninterrupted run, the BJP on Thursday failed to retain the Panaji Assembly constituency, largely represented by late Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar since 1994.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Sidharth Kuncalienkar lost to Congress' Atanasio Monserrate by 1,758 votes. Monserrate polled 8,748 votes against Kuncalienkar's 6,990 votes. 
 
AAP's Valmiki Naik and Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) candidate Subhash Velingkar polled 236 and 516 votes, respectively.
 
"This is a victory of the Congress party and a vote for the development. Panaji has been deprived of development for the past so many years," Monserrate said after the announcement of his victory.
 
The bye-election for the Panaji Assembly constituency was necessitated by the death of its MLA and Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in March, after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer.
 
Parrikar first won the constituency in 1994 and retained it until 2014, when he was elevated as Defence Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet. In his absence, the seat was represented twice by his aide Kuncalienkar. On his return to state politics in 2018, Parrikar was once again elected Panaji MLA.
 
The loss is significant for the BJP, which promised to carry forward Parrikar's legacy in Panaji. The saffron party's campaign received a setback after its state leadership snubbed his son Utpal's bid for a ticket for the Panaji bypoll.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

After a year's search, tiger spotted in South Goa national park

ADVERTISEMENT
In a development which has brought cheer to Goa wildlife authorities, a tiger has been spotted in the state's only national park in South Goa, an official statement said on Saturday.
 
The statement also said that the spotting of the striped cat is a testament to healthy wildlife practices in the Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park which is a popular eco-tourism haunt.
 
"The camera trapping has recorded presence of tigers in Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park for the first time on May 14. The tiger presence in the area indicates that level of protection, quality of wildlife habitat and wildlife management practices in the national park are of high levels," the statement said.
 
The statement said that the forest department staffers were trying to track down the elusive cat for over a year at the park, which is spread over 240 sq kms.
 
This is the second major tiger spotting in Goa. Tiger presence has already been confirmed in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary in North Goa.
 
Despite the tiger sighting in the forests at Mhadei, the state government has dithered in setting up a tiger reserve in Goa, because the region is ringed by mining leases.
 
Late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had told the Goa Assembly last year that no "final decision" had been taken on setting up a tiger reserve in the state, even though the National Tiger Conservation Authority had mooted a proposal for constitution of a tiger reserve in Goa and the adjoining Kali Tiger Reserve in Karnataka after the All India Tiger Estimation survey in 2014.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

After a year's search, tiger spotted in South Goa national park

ADVERTISEMENT
In a development which has brought cheer to Goa wildlife authorities, a tiger has been spotted in the state's only national park in South Goa, an official statement said on Saturday.
 
The statement also said that the spotting of the striped cat is a testament to healthy wildlife practices in the Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park which is a popular eco-tourism haunt.
 
"The camera trapping has recorded presence of tigers in Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park for the first time on May 14. The tiger presence in the area indicates that level of protection, quality of wildlife habitat and wildlife management practices in the national park are of high levels," the statement said.
 
The statement said that the forest department staffers were trying to track down the elusive cat for over a year at the park, which is spread over 240 sq kms.
 
This is the second major tiger spotting in Goa. Tiger presence has already been confirmed in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary in North Goa.
 
Despite the tiger sighting in the forests at Mhadei, the state government has dithered in setting up a tiger reserve in Goa, because the region is ringed by mining leases.
 
Late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had told the Goa Assembly last year that no "final decision" had been taken on setting up a tiger reserve in the state, even though the National Tiger Conservation Authority had mooted a proposal for constitution of a tiger reserve in Goa and the adjoining Kali Tiger Reserve in Karnataka after the All India Tiger Estimation survey in 2014.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Gokulam Kerala beat Panjim Footballers 2-0 for their fourth straight win

ADVERTISEMENT
Gokulam Kerala FC beat Panjim Footballers 2-0 for their fourth straight win while Hans FC defeated Rising Students' Club 2-1 to record their second victory in the Hero Indian Women Football league in Ludhiana on Saturday.
 
India internationals Sanju and Anju Tamang were on target for the Kerala side, but it was their teenage mid fielder Manisha, who stole the show to take the Player of the Match award.
 
It was defence-vs-attack all through as Gokulam took the initiative from early on.  Sanju intercepted a pass from the right and unleashed a drive into the bottom corner.
 
Gokulam picked up where they left off in the second half as Manisha dictated terms from midfield again. She linked with Bawitlung, who played a delicious one-two with Babysena Devi to break free of her marker, but Panjim keeper Ashika Gadekar came off her line and swept the ball off the Mizo forward's feet.
 
However, Manisha created an opening which led to the second goal. She  sold a dummy at the edge of the penalty box, and played a delicate through ball to Anju Tamang, who merely had to beat the keeper, which she did with great aplomb. This win took Gokulam a  step closer to the semi-final spot, as they now have 12 points from four matches – a perfect record in the tournament so far.
 
In another match, Hans  FC  kept their hopes alive as they beat Rising Student Club 2-1. Hans FC’s Nigerian midfielder Rita Casia was the star of the show as she controlled the midfield and also scored an absolute scorcher from long range.
 
Rising Student Club started off the game with the higher tempo, incessantly going on the attack in the early exchanges.
 
However, it was Hans who had the earliest chance, when Jyoti Ann Burrett knuckled a free-kick from long range. Her shot was well-placed, but it was saved by RSC keeper Rani Bhowmick. Krishna Barick had an early opportunity to put RSC in front when she got the ball inside the opposition area, switched to her left foot, but Hans keeper Vanshika Rana thwarted the attack.
 
Hans midfielder Rita Casia put her side in the lead with a powerful shot giving RSC goalkeeper Rani Bhowmick  no chance to block it.
 
Hans doubled their lead soon after, when Anushka Samuel broke free and slipped it past Bhowmick (2-0). Sradhanjali Panda scored in injury time to pull one back, but it was too little, too late for RSC.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Chandigarh man arrested for wife's murder in Goa

ADVERTISEMENT
A 28-year-old Chandigarh-based part-time travel agent Sukhvinder Singh has been arrested by the Goa Police for allegedly murdering his wife while on a holiday in North Goa's Arpora village on April 27, a police officer said on Friday.
 
Singh, who is accused of murdering his wife, was nabbed from a hotel in Ludhiana, Punjab, after a manhunt which spanned days and across several cities, Superintendent of Police (Crime Branch) Pankaj Kumar Singh told reporters on Friday.
 
"During interrogation it was revealed that on the fateful day, the couple had a heated argument resulting in a fight after which he slit her throat with a knife," the SP said.
 
Singh and his wife, Alka Saini, 25, from Himachal Pradesh, had checked into a resort in Arpora village located 20 km from Panaji.
 
The woman was found dead with injuries to her neck by hotel maintenance staff on April 27 and Singh was reported missing, following which the Goa Police had filed a murder case at the Anjuna police station.
 
Pankaj Kumar Singh said that police had sent teams to multiple locations including Delhi, Chandigarh, Kapurthala and other places, where the accused was known to have relatives. 
 
Sukhvinder Singh was eventually arrested from a hotel room in Punjab's Ludhiana town, the police officer said.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

BJP denies Parrikar's son ticket for Panaji bye-election

ADVERTISEMENT
The BJP on Sunday nominated late Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's aide Sidharth Kuncalienkar as its candidate for the Panaji assembly seat bye-election, ignoring the claim of his son Utpal Parrikar.
 
Kuncalienkar's nomination was approved after much delay by the Bharatiya Janata Party's Central Election Committee on Sunday, according to a statement issued by the committee's secretary J.P. Nadda.
 
Utpal Parrikar had been considered a front-runner for contesting the May 19 bye-election and his name was expected to be announced on Friday, but a public announcement by former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar that he was also entering the contest, resulted in the party opting for Kuncalienkar -- who has been elected Panaji MLA twice -- instead.
 
A senior party official said that with the entry of Velingkar into the fray, the contest for the Panaji seat would be a difficult one, something which the party elders did not wish Utpal to face in his electoral debut.
 
Kuncalienkar, a close aide of Parrikar, was first elected MLA in 2015 soon after Parrikar joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet as Defence Minister and resigned from the Panaji seat.
 
In the 2017 assembly election, Kuncalienkar was again elected MLA from Panaji, but had to resign after Parrikar returned to the state as Chief Minister and had to be elected to the state assembly again.
 
Kuncalienkar will face Atanasio Monserrate of the Congress, Valmiki Naik of the Aam Aadmi Party and Velingkar, who is contesting on a Goa Suraksha Manch ticket.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Young woman tourist from Himchal found murdered in Goa hotel room

ADVERTISEMENT
A 25-year-old woman tourist from Himachal Pradesh was found murdered in a room at a hotel in North Goa on Saturday, police sources said.
 
The victim was identified as Alka Saini, from Himachal Pradesh who had checked into the hotel in the beach village of Arpora on April 20, along with her boyfriend, who could not be traced now, a police source said.
 
"Her body was found by the hotel's maintenance staff after they entered the room for cleaning on Saturday. We have found stab marks on her neck," the source said, adding that the body has been sent to the Goa Medical College near Panaji for post-mortem examination.
 
While top police officials are tight-lipped and refused to comment, police sources also said that the hotel's CCTV camera showed two persons exiting the room some time before the body was discovered by the hotel staff.
 
"Police parties have been dispatched to look for the duo. We have also alerted police personnel posted at bus stations, railway stations, the Dabolim International Airport and border check points," the source said.
 
A case of murder has been registered at the Anjuna police station.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

EVMs replaced at South Goa poll booth after complaint

ADVERTISEMENT
All EVMs at a polling station in Cuncolim Assembly constituency in South Goa have been replaced after reports of malfunctioning, Goa Chief Electoral Officer Kunal said on Tuesday.
 
"Entire set of EVMs has been replaced for Assembly constituency 34 (Cuncolim), polling station number 31, as per report from the district election officer South Goa," Kunal said.
 
Earlier in the day, Aam Aadmi Party convenor Elvis Gomes had complained about the malfunctioning electronic voting machines (EVMs) at polling station number 31.
 
Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar also expressed concern about malfunctioning EVMs.
 
"There are similar problems in polling stations in other constituencies in Betul (village)," Kavlekar told reporters, adding that the Congress would be taking up the matter before the Election Commission.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Ahead of LS polls, CBDT detects unaccounted cash racket

ADVERTISEMENT
On the second day of its continued searches across Madhya Pradesh, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Monday detected a widespread and well-organised racket of collection of unaccounted cash, to the tune of Rs 281 crore, involving persons from different walks of life including business, politics and public service.
 
Apart from cash, the Income Tax officials have also recovered 252 bottles of liquor, some arms and tiger hides.
 
"A part of cash -- Rs 20 crore -- was also transferred recently to the headquarters of a major political party in Delhi through hawala channel from the residence of a senior functionary at Tughlak Road, New Delhi," a CBDT spokesperson said in a statement.
 
The statement, however, did not identify the political party or its "senior functionary".
 
Meticulous records of collection and disbursement of cash in the form of hand-written diaries, computer files and Excel sheets seized corroborate the findings, the spokesperson added.
 
Acting on a tip-off of largescale collection, possession and movement of unaccounted assets, the Delhi Directorate of Income Tax (Investigation) initiated search and seizure actions on a group active in the National Capital Region (NCR), Bhopal, Indore and Goa. More than 300 IT officials participated in the operation taking place at about 52 locations in four states.
 
The searches in Delhi on the group of a close relative of the senior party functionary have further led to seizure of incriminating evidence including cash book recording unaccounted transactions of Rs 230 crore, siphoning off money through bogus billing of more than Rs 242 crore and evidence of presence of more than 80 companies in tax havens, the CBDT said. 
 
"Several unaccounted or benami properties at posh locations in Delhi have also been detected. Instances of violations of model code of conduct are being brought to the notice of Election Commission," said the spokesperson.
 
The department had on Sunday launched raids at 52 locations of people and associates linked to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath. 
 
Those searched included Nath's former Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Pravin Kakkar, former adviser Rajendra Miglani and Ashwani Sharma.
 
A report earlier in the day said that IT officials seized various materials, including cash and documents, from Sharma -- manager of a non-government organisation. He has office and residence in Platinum Plaza -- the building where the Chief Minister's Officer on Special Duty Kakkar also resides.
 
Huge amounts of cash, gold and silver jewellery were recovered from Kakkar's Indore house and Sharma's Bhopal residence, said the sources. The IT sleuths also seized from Kakkar's residence documents linked to transfer of government officials. 
 
Kakkar and Sharma were also interrogated by the officials in the night, the sources added.
 
It is suspected that the seized cash was meant to be used during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
 
IANS

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Two MGP MLAs split, merged into BJP: Goa Deputy Speaker

ADVERTISEMENT
In a late night and politically significant development, two out of the three Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party legislators early on Wednesday, split from the regional party and merged their two-member legislative unit into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo said.
 
"MGP MLAs Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar have merged with the BJP. They first split from the MGP and formed MGP-II and then merged with the BJP," the Deputy Speaker told IANS. 
 
The letter requesting merger into the BJP was handed over to Lobo at 1:45 am on Wednesday.
 
The development comes on the heels of a growing discomfort between the BJP and the MGP, which surfaced openly after the latter was given only two ministerial berths during last week's government formation, instead of three as demanded by party leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sudin Dhavalikar.
 
Dhavalikar and Ajgaonkar were sworn in as PWD Minister and Tourism Minister, respectively, at a swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan in the pre-dawn hours of March 19.
 
The repeated insistence of Dipak Dhavalikar, MGP president and Sudin's brother, to contest the upcoming bypoll from the Shiroda assembly constituency against the BJP, had also led to tension between the two political units, leading to Wednesday's development.
 
"We, Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar have agreed to merge with the BJP. In view of sub-clause (2) of clause 4 of the 10th Schedule, and in view of the fact that we constitute 2/3rds of the members of the legislative party, such merger shall be deemed to have taken place," a letter submitted by Ajgaonkar to the Deputy Speaker said.
 
BJP state president Vinay Tendulkar was present at the state legislative assembly complex, when the duo submitted the letter to Lobo and merged into the BJP in presence of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
 
The merger of the two-member legislative unit into the BJP brings the saffron party on par with the Congress with 14 seats each.
 
Speaking to reporters at the state legislative assembly complex, Ajgaonkar said that both he and Pauskar were kept away from the decision-making process in the MGP, which was the reason why the duo had decided to quit the regional party.
 
Ajgaonkar also said that this week's sacking of a bahujan samaj (OBC) leader from the MGP, which was engineered by the Dhavalikar brothers -- both of whom are Brahmin -- had put his status in the party in question.
 
"What is happening in MGP, the whole of Goa knows. They have harassed the bahujan samaj. What will happen to a Dalit like me? This is the question. After seeing this, I quit the local party and joined the national party," Ajgaonkar said.
 
Pauskar said that he had been assured a berth in the ministry by the Chief Minister and that he would be happy with "any ministry of the Chief Minister's choosing". His swearing-in ceremony was expected to be held later on Wednesday, he said.
 
When asked if Sudin Dhavalikar would be dropped from the cabinet to make way for Pauskar on Wednesday, Sawant cryptically said: "The decision to drop (a minister) will be taken and after that there will be a swearing-in".
 
Meanwhile, in a statement issued here, the state Congress said that the late night drama in Goa should send a signal to NDA partners that BJP does not care about allies.
 
"BJP has proved it is a threat to all its allies. This is a clear indication to all NDA partners all over the country just before Lok Sabha elections, that any partnershup with BJP will be detrimental to the existence of their own party," Goa Congress chief spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar said.
 
On paper, the BJP currently has the support of three MLAs from the Goa Forward party, three Independent legislators and one MGP MLA in form of Sudin Dhavalikar, which takes the tally of the treasury benches to 20 in the 36-member state legislative assembly.
 
Sudin Dhavalikar could not be contacted for comment.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant wins trust vote

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday won the trust vote in the state Assembly, with 20 of the 36 membrs in the House voting for the BJP-led coalition government while 15 opposed the motion.
Pramod Sawant (Photo: IANS)
Pramod Sawant (Photo: IANS)
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday won the trust vote in the state Assembly.
 
Twenty of the 36 members in the House voted for the BJP-led coalition government while 15 opposed the motion.
 
The 20 legislators who voted for the motion included 11 from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 3 each of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Goa Forward Party and 3 Independents while 15 MLAs (14 Congress and 1 NCP) opposed the motion in the Goa Assembly.
 
The 'magic number' for a simple majority in the 36-member House was 19. The trust vote was overseen by acting Speaker and BJP MLA Michael Lobo.
 
Addressing the Assembly after winning the trust vote, Sawant said that his government would carry forward his predecessor Manohar Parrikar's vision of "positive thinking".
 
"Manohar Parrikar had given a message before passing away about being positive. If we we go ahead with this message, we can build a bright future for Goa," Sawant said.
 
The 45-year-old Chief Minister also said that the philosophy of his government would be the Antodaya principle, which involves reaching out to the most marginalised sections of society.
 
"And for that to work, it is not just up to a CM or MLA, but every member of society. For this I would the need help of every Goan," Sawant said.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Goa's BJP-led coalition government faces floor test on Wednesday

Newly appointed Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who heads a BJP-led coalition government, will face a floor test to prove his dispensation's majority in the 36-member state legislative assembly on Wednesday.
Pramod Sawant (Photo: IANS)
Pramod Sawant (Photo: IANS)
Newly appointed Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who heads a BJP-led coalition government, will face a floor test to prove his dispensation's majority in the 36-member state legislative assembly on Wednesday.
 
While Sawant told reporters on Tuesday that he is "100 per cent confident" of winning the floor test, the Congress has refused to divulge its floor plan for the crucial one-day session of the state assembly, which was summoned by Goa Governor Mridula Sinha on Tuesday.
 
The one-point agenda of the session, which is scheduled to begin at 11.30 a.m., is to facilitate the trust vote that will be overseen by Acting Speaker and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Michael Lobo.
 
The BJP-led coalition comprises of 12 BJP MLAs, three MLAs each from Goa Forward and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party as well as two Independent MLAs.
 
The Congress has 14 MLAs in the 36-member Assembly. One independent MLA Prasad Gaonkar was seen in both the BJP as well as Congress camps on Monday and has not clarified as to whether he supports the treasury or opposition benches. 
 
Lone Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Churchill Alemao had voted in favour of the previous BJP-led coalition government in 2017, but had participated in a press conference organised by the Congress party on Monday, amid the midnight government formation drama.
 
The 'magic number' for a simple majority in the 36-member House is 19.
 
According to Sawant he is confident of winning the vote. "I am confident we will win the test," Sawant told reporters on Tuesday.
 
Interestingly, political sources said that one of the BJP MLAs Pandurang Madkaikar, who suffered a brain stroke in 2018 and has not made a public appearance since, is expected to be present in the state assembly.
 
"Despite his physically debilitating illness, we have convinced Madkaikar to attend the session on Wednesday as every vote is crucial," a BJP official said on condition of anonymity.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The BJP's anxiety to bring in a physically ailing Madkaikar for the floor test, could be indicative of some anxiety in its camp, especially since the party appears to have snubbed Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party supremo Sudin Dhavalikar, by not agreeing to several key demands, which includes three ministerial berths for its three MLAs and allotment of three major government corporations to its kitty.
 
Dhavalikar is a powerful local satrap and has ties across party lines, including with the Congress party, in whose coalition government he has served as a cabinet minister.
 
Meanwhile, the Congress, which had cried foul and accused Governor Mridula Sinha of being biased towards the BJP in the run-up to the government formation, is unwilling to drop hints about its floor strategy when the House meets in a few hours for the legislative test of numbers.
 
"Let's give the opportunity to legislators who are going to vote. If I tell you what the legislators are going to do tomorrow, I will be taking away their right... What is to be done in the assembly, I do not think I can predict it today," Chodankar said.
 
IANS

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Never a minister, Ayurveda doctor Pramod Sawant now Goa CM

Pramod Sawant (Photo: IANS)
Pramod Sawant (Photo: IANS)
BJP youth leader and former Speaker of the state legislative assembly Pramod Sawant, who on Tuesday was sworn-in as Goa's 11th Chief Minister, assumed the top political mantle despite never having served as a minister in the state cabinet.
 
Much like Sawant's mentor and immediate predecessor late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was sworn in as Chief Minister in 2000, without every having served as a minister in the state cabinet.
 
Sawant, 45, holds a Bachelor's degree in Ayurvedic Medicine from the Ganga Ayurvedic Medical College in Maharashtra's Kolhapur district and has practiced as a doctor of alternative medicine in Goa. He has completed his Masters in Social Welfare from the Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth, a deemed university in Pune.
 
Sawant has been elected to the state assembly on two occasions in 2012 and 2017 from the Sanquelim assembly constituency.
 
Sawant, a Maratha by caste, served as a Speaker of the state legislative assembly from 2017.
 
He rose in the ranks in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) through the party's youth brigade and was one of the younger BJP leaders who was considered close to Parrikar.
 
Speaking to IANS, Goa BJP spokesperson Dattaprasad Naik, who had worked under Sawant's leadership, when the latter was the state president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, described the new Chief Minister as a "humble, down to earth person" who understood the aspirations of the youth.
 
"I definitely hope that people don't start fitting him in Parrikar's larger-than-life shoes. People should give him due time to perform," Naik said.
 
Sawant's wife Sulakshana is currently the state president of the BJP's Mahila Morcha and his daughter studies in Class 6.
 
Sawant in his political career has generally managed to steer clear from controversy and was handpicked by Parrikar to assume the Speaker's post in 2017.
 
Sawant, who is a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteer, hails from the Sanquelim constituency, which is one of the key regions in the North Goa mining belt, where the BJP in recent times has found itself unpopular, especially after the state as well as Central government failed to work towards resumption of mining operations, which were banned by the Supreme Court last year.
 
Apart from his proximity to Parrikar and the fact that he has been a member of the BJP for a long spell of time -- unlike several other sitting MLAs -- Sawant's lineage as an MLA from the mining belt was one of the reasons why he was picked by party seniors, according to a BJP leader, who was involved in the process of selecting the chief minister candidate.
 
"Apart from choosing a Chief Minister from the cadre, we also had to send a signal to the mining regions, which have been severely impact by the mining ban, that we are serious about their concerns. We hope that this outreach will convince them to vote for the BJP during the Lok Sabha and assembly bypolls," the BJP leader requesting anonymity said.
 
It is perhaps ironic that Sawant, an alternative medicine professional has succeeded Parrikar, who died after suffering from pancreatic cancer for over a year.
 
Whether he will actually be able to fill in Parrikar's larger than life and trademark sandals, remains to be seen.
 
IANS

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Pramod Sawant sworn in as 11th Chief Minister of Goa

Former Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly and BJP MLA Pramod Sawant was sworn in here as the 11th Chief Minister of Goa in the early hours of Tuesday.
Pramod Sawant (Photo: IANS)
Pramod Sawant (Photo: IANS)
Former Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly and BJP MLA Pramod Sawant was sworn in here as the 11th Chief Minister of Goa in the early hours of Tuesday.
 
Vijai Sardesai from the Goa Forward Party and Sudin Dhavalikar from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, both alliance partners, have been inducted as Deputy Chief Ministers, Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik told reporters on the sidelines of the oath-taking ceremony at Raj Bhavan here.
 
Sawant, 45, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Mridula Sinha at a formal ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan.
 
Apart from Sawant and the two deputy Chief Ministers, nine other MLAs, all of them who were part of the previous BJP-led coalition cabinet headed by Parrikar, were also administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor and inducted as ministers in the state cabinet. 
 
The Chief Minister said portfolios would be allotted to his ministers within eight days.
 
Sawant succeeds Manohar Parrikar, who died on Sunday due to complications arising from advanced pancreatic cancer.
 
The new Chief Minister heads a coalition government which has the support of 12 MLAs from the BJP, three each from the Goa Forward and MGP, and two independent MLAs, taking the tally of the treasury benches to 20 in the assembly, which has an effective strength  of 40.
 
"Parrikar is not among us now and this responsibility has been given collectively to me by my party, alliance partners and independent MLAs. This is a big responsibility," Sawant told reporters soon after he was sworn in.
 
"I am committed to the development of Goa and to take forward the teachings of former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar with a positive outlook," Sawant also said, adding that he would focus on completing all infrastructure-related projects started by his predecessor.
 
He was sworn in after a marathon session of hectic negotiations anchored by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and BJP national president Amit Shah who, over a series of meetings, spanning more than 24 hours, with legislators from regional parties and independent MLAs forged a coalition together.
 
Newly-inducted Minister Nilesh Cabral said the delay in organising the swearing-in ceremony was caused due to unrealistic expectations from some BJP MLAs as well as legislators from the alliance camp, which dragged the negotiations.
 
"The number of years you spend as an MLA does not make you senior. Everytime you get elected you are there for a five-year term. Unfortunately, some of my colleagues with us (BJP) or in the alliance were expecting something else better... That is what delayed the whole thing," Cabral said.
 
Earlier, ahead of Sawant's swearing-in ceremony, the Congress had accused Governor Sinha of allowing BJP time to indulge in "horse trading" and being biased against the party. 
 
The party's spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar maintained Congress was the single largest party in the 36-member state legislative assembly. The Congress has 14 MLAs as against the BJP's 12.
 
"We strongly condemn the undemocratic action of Governor Sinha for not allowing our single largest party to form the Government and allowing BJP to carry on horse trading, despite BJP not having sufficient numbers to form the government," Kawthankar had said.
 
Sawant assumed office later in the morning, after paying a courtesy visit to the family of his predecessor late Manohar Parrikar. He met Parrikar's sons Utpal and Abhijaat.
 
"Parrikar's sons Utpal and Abhijaat are my friends. It is my duty to visit them after I become CM. I have not gone to office yet," Sawant told reporters outside Parrikar's residence. 
 
"Parrikar has been my political ideal and guru. He has been a fatherly figure for me. I became MLA, Speaker and CM because of him. It is my courtesy visit," Sawant said.
 
Sawant also said the 11 cabinet ministers will soon be allocated their portfolios. 
 
Meanwhile, BJP sources said the crucial floor test to prove the majority of the BJP-led dispensation will be held on Wednesday. 
 
"Our BJP MLA and Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo will be the Pro Tem Speaker who will conduct the proceedings of the floor test," a party leader said requesting anonymity. 
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Pramod Sawant to be new Chief Minister of Goa

ADVERTISEMENT
Goa Assembly Speaker Pramod Pandurang Sawant will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of a BJP-led coalition government on Monday evening by Governor Mridula Sinha, a senior BJP leader said.
 
Sawant, who will be the 11th Chief Minister of the coastal state, will succeed his mentor Manohar Parrikar, who died on Sunday after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. The last rites of Parrikar were held here on Monday evening with full state honours.
 
"The BJP had finalised Sawant's candidature last night. But we only managed to convince alliance partners today (Monday) evening in the presence of our national President Amit Shah and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. He will be sworn in as Chief Minister later today," said the BJP leader who did not want to be identified.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
Syndicate content
© Copyright 2012 NetIndian. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of NetIndian content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of NetIndian Media Corporation. Write to info[AT]netindian[DOT]in for permission to use content. Read detailed Terms of Use.