There were 20 votes in Sawant’s favour while 15 were against him. The majority mark was 19 because the 40-member Legislative Assembly has a strength of 36 currently due to the death of two BJP MPs and the resignation of two Congress MPs.
This is the second time in two years that BJP has managed to keep an alliance together to upstage Congress‘ ambition of forming a government here. Congress‘ claim has rested on the argument that it is the single-largest party in Goa. This is what the party played at after the 2017 Assembly election. BJP came from behind, stitched an alliance with Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party to get bring their three MPs on board, and form the government.
On Monday, a day after the death of four-time Goa CM Manohar Parrikar, BJP had to engage its alliance partners in an intense debate over who would take over. Both GFP and MGP wanted their respective candidates to take over as CM. In the end, their candidates – Vijai Sardesai and Sudin Dhavalikar – were appointed as deputy CMs.
Sawant, a BJP loyalist who was close to Parrikar, was promoted to the CM’s post in the wee hours of Tuesday and he eventually managed to hold the alliance together – with the support of union minister Nitin Gadkari – to pass the crucial floor test.