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Who is Pramod Sawant? The new Goa CM and ayurvedic doctor

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Panaji, Mar 19: BJP's Pramod Sawant was on Tuesday sworn in as the new chief minister of Goa, succeeding Manohar Parrikar, cremated hours earlier with state honours.

At a much-delayed swearing-in ceremony, held around 2 am Tuesday, 11 other MLAs, part of the Parrikar-led cabinet, were also sworn in as ministers.

 Pramod Sawant

Manohar Ajgaonkar and Sudin Dhawalikar of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Vijai Sardesai of Goa Forward party (GFP) and Govind Gawde and Rohan Khaunte (both independents) took their oaths as cabinet ministers.

Sawant was elected as the leader of the BJP legislature party at a meeting held in the state capital minutes after Manohar Parrikar was given a state funeral with full military honours on Monday.

Who is Pramod Sawant

From being an ayurveda practitioner to being the Goa chief minister, 46-year-old Pramod Sawant has come a long way.

Sawant's political career began in the BJP as a youth leader. A staunch Parrikar supporter, he had worked closely with the late leader.

He won the 2012 and 2017 Assembly elections from North Goa's Sanquelim constituency, which used to be a Congress stronghold.

He was among the few BJP MLAs who got re-elected in their constituencies during the state polls two years ago, when the party managed to win only 13 seats as compared to 21 in the 2012 elections.

When Parrikar cobbled up an alliance with the Goa Forward Party, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Independents in 2017 despite the Congress being the single largest party, Sawant was elected as the Assembly Speaker.

Born on April 24, 1973, the BJP leader obtained a Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery degree from the Ganga Education Society's Ayurvedic Medical College in Kolhapur and a postgraduate degree of Master of Social Work from the Tilak Maharashtra University at Pune.

According to reports, Pramod Sawant is known to have been groomed by Parrikar himself. His wife Sulakshana is a chemistry teacher and a leader of the BJP Mahila Morcha.

The two-time MLA from Sanquelim in North Goa, Sawant, who was Speaker of the state Assembly, is a dedicated RSS worker.

The politician, recently seen in the RSS uniform at a Sangh event, was on Monday sworn in as the new chief minister of Goa following Manohar Parrikar's death.

'The current strength of the Goa assembly stands at 36 instead of 40 due to the deaths of Parrikar and BJP legislator Francis D'Souza, and the resignation of two others. Although the Congress claims to be the single-largest party with 14 seats, the BJP -- with 13 -- has the support of many smaller parties. The state has a 12-member cabinet.

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