Goa CM Pramod Sawant not first choice of Amit Shah: Former Goa Deputy CM

Panaji: Pramod Sawant was not Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah's choice for the Chief Minister's post, former deputy Chief Minister Sudin Dhavalikar said on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Dhavalikar, who is the lone Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLA in the state Legislative Assembly, said that Goa appeared to be borrowing a page from the contemporary politics in Maharashtra, where opposition politicians are making a beeline for the BJP. Dhavalikar also rejected reports in the media that he was likely to join the BJP soon.

"At the time Pramod Sawant was made Chief Minister, they (BJP) wanted to make someone else... Amit Shah wanted to make someone else the Chief Minister. I insisted, that Dr Pramod Sawant should be made the Chief Minister. I said this. I said this to Amit Shah over the phone," Dhavalikar said.

The former Deputy Chief Minister's comment comes a day after there was speculation that he was likely to join the BJP. Dhavalikar was sacked from the BJP-led coalition in March this year by Sawant soon after becoming the Chief Minister. Sawant succeeded the former Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar amid drama in March, after some wrangling between the BJP leadership and local alliance partners.

Dhavalikar said that Goa was emulating the Maharashtra brand of politics in recent times and blamed the media for fuelling speculation about his joining the BJP.

"Someone is trying to bring Maharashtra brand of politics to Goa. Media and correspondents are involved in this. They should have asked me for my comments on the issue," Dhavalikar said.