Goa may be a small state in terms of elections with just 40 seats, but the electoral drama has always been high voltage.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gears up to stake claim to form the government and make a race towards Raj Bhavan, the choice for the chief ministerial candidate is not going to be easy.
The state electorate once again threw up a hung verdict, but the BJP has already kept its numbers ready to form the government when the time arises, with the help of independents and other alliances which were struck overnight.
A highly-placed BJP source told CNN-News 18 that while the local Goa BJP unit would back Pramod Sawant, there is a likelihood that the BJP high command may consider Vishwajit Rane as the CM candidate.
When asked about whether he is in the race to be the CM, Rane said, “I will follow what the party seniors say. I am just a humble party worker.”
#ResultsWithNews18 | A very emotional Goa Minster Vishwajit Rane (@visrane) speaks to CNNnews18's @Rohini_Swamy. He says that he is humbled by the result and that the people of Goa have reposted their faith in him. #BattleForStates pic.twitter.com/f6d9l8crgb
— News18 (@CNNnews18) March 10, 2022
For the BJP, this win, especially in the absence of the party’s stalwart and most loved leader Manohar Parrikar, is being seen as an endorsement of people’s faith in the work done by the incumbent CM Sawant.
In 2017, the Congress emerged as the single largest party, a few seats short of the magic figure of 21 to reach a majority. However, internal party squabbles between senior Congressmen and former CM’s Luizinho Faliero , Digambar Kamat and Pratapsingh Rane delayed the process to stake claim to form the government with the Governor.
The BJP, being the second largest party, swung into action and began negotiations with smaller parties like MGP and Goa Forward. While the Goa Congress led by Digvijay Singh were trying to resolve their internal issues, the BJP staked the claim to form the government with Parrikar being unanimously supported as the CM candidate. Parrikar passed away in 2019 due to cancer and he was succeeded by one of his close lieutenants Pramod Sawant.
Just like the Congress in 2017, the BJP is likely to face the challenge of two powerful leaders, incumbent CM Pramod Sawant and former health minister Vishwajit Rane vying for the prized chief ministerial post.
Goa in-charge and senior BJP leaders Devendra Fadnavis and C T Ravi have been chalking out a plan to ensure that the BJP not only forms the government, but the possible internal tussle for the CM’s post doesn’t arise.
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