In Goa, BJP nominates Ramesh Tawadkar as Speaker of newly-elected assembly
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that Tawadkar was the party’s choice for Speaker and owing to the majority they hold in the house, he was expected to be elected as Speaker without any opposition.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has nominated Ramesh Tawadkar, a former minister and a member of the scheduled tribes’ community for the post of Speaker for the newly elected Goa legislative assembly. He represents the coastal state’s southernmost constituency of Canacona.
Tawadkar, who was re-elected to the assembly after having lost the earlier assembly polls, is a three term MLA but was dropped by the BJP in 2017. He opted to contest as an independent resulting in a victory for the Congress in the seat.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that Tawadkar was the party’s choice for Speaker and owing to the majority they hold in the house, he was expected to be elected as speaker without any opposition.
“From the BJP we have chosen senior legislator Ramesh Tawadkar elected from Canacona for Speaker. He has filed three sets of nomination papers. He is supported by the MGP and Independents and we are confident he will be elected as Speaker with possibly an even higher number of votes than the majority we have,” Sawant said on Sunday.
Tawadkar will go up against Aleixo Sequeira who is the joint opposition candidate for the post of the Speaker.
Sequeira, a former minister and an MLA since 1989 -- save for a decade-long hiatus between 2012 and now -- emerged as the consensus candidate for the Congress, and is expected to take on the BJP’s candidate.
The BJP with the support of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and three Independents have a strength of 25 MLAs while the combined strength of the opposition stands at 15 including the Congress’ 11 MLAs, AAP’s two MLAs, the Revolutionary Goans Party with two MLAs and Goa Forward’s lone MLA Vijai Sardesai.
The Aam Aadmi Party has, meanwhile said that the opposition will remain united to ensure that the government is held to account.
“Goa needs a strong opposition today. We have to be united and we will fulfil the demand of being a strong opposition. And when we have a strong opposition, then politics will be on the right track. Governance of all 40 MLAs has to benefit Goa and Goa at large. Party (differences) will be there, but for Goa there will be team work,” AAP MLA Venzy Viegas said.
The Goa Governor has summoned a two-day session of the Goa legislative assembly beginning March 29, a day after chief minister-elect Pramod Sawant will be sworn in.
The session will see the election of the Speaker as well as the Governor’s address on the first day while on the second day; the CM is expected to table a vote on account for three months in the absence of a full-fledged budget.
In a communication issued on Thursday, the Governor’s office also appointed BJP MLA Ganesh Gaonkar, who had earlier been sworn in as the pro-tem speaker, to preside over the session of the Goa Legislative Assembly and oversee the election to a full-time speaker.