PANAJI: Goa Speaker Pramod Sawant was sworn in as the 13th chief minister post-midnight on Monday after BJP
got letters of support from its allies on the assurance that both Goa Forward Party president

Vijai Sardesai and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party leader Ramkrishna Dhavalikar would be made deputy chief ministers.

It is the first time that the tiniest state will have two deputy chief ministers. Though an official communication said

46-year-old Sawant would be sworn in by 11 pm, grueling discussions between BJP and its allies GFP, MGP and independents delayed the swearing-in to late night. Sawant, who resigned from the speaker’s post, was sworn in along with 11 cabinet ministers, who were part of the late chief minister Manohar Parrikar’s cabinet.

BJP sources said smaller parties and independents have not left the NDA fold and are aware that a prolonged stalemate may lead to House dissolution. BJP leaders have argued that polls held now could well give an advantage to the party as they coincide with a perceived upswing post-air strikes in Balakot. The muscle flexing by GFP and MGP for portfolios of choice and designations kept the state in political flux and raised doubts over government formation.