The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Pramod Sawant government on Wednesday cleared the crucial floor test with a margin 20-15, enjoying support of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Goa Forward Party and three Independent MLAs namely Rohan Khaunte, Govind Gaude and Prasad Gaonkar.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Cumbharjua, Pandurang Madkaikar, who has been ailing since June, last year also made an appearance at the state legislative assembly to support the Motion of Confidence in favour of his party.
The floor test was directly conducted by way of division of votes, skipping the voice vote exercise.
All 14 Congress legislators voted against the Motion of Confidence tabled by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. They were supported by the lone Nationalist Congress Party MLA Churchill Alemao.
Initially, leader of the Opposition Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavlekar stood up along with the MLAs supporting the Motion of Confidence. However, he soon learnt the folly and sat down on his seat.
Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo conducted the proceedings of the assembly as acting Speaker.
Before conducting the floor test, the acting Speaker read out the letter of Governor Mridula Sinha to the state legislative assembly, which directed holding of the floor test to determine if the newly sworn-in Chief Minister has the support of majority in the House or not. “The result of the floor
test may be conveyed to me immediately, after conclusion of the floor test, and the entire proceedings of the House may also be sent to me,” the letter added.
The strength of the 40-member assembly has been reduced to 36, after the Panaji and Mapusa seats fell vacant owing to the death of Manohar Parrikar and Francis D’Souza, respectively and resignation of two Congress MLAs namely Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar from the membership of the House.
After winning the floor test, the Chief Minister addressing the House said that he was a simple party worker of the BJP, and steadily rose to the ranks from the office bearer of the youth wing of the party to a legislator to the Speaker, and now a Chief Minister. “I, however, will be a worker at heart and give service to the state and its people as one,” he promised, while thanking the BJP MLAs and coalition partners of the government for their support.
“Former chief minister, Manohar Parrikar, during his last days had given us the message of being positive,” Sawant recalled, pointing out that if this message is followed in true spirit then it would be easy for all to shape the future of Goa.
Interestingly, state president of BJP Vinay Tendulkar awaited the arrival of MGP legislator, Deepak Pauskar, outside the state legislative assembly, before the commencement of the business of the House. Once Pauskar arrived at the complex, Tendulkar led him inside the House.