New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pramod Sawant is all set to become the next Chief Minister of Goa. Besides a full-fledged Chief Minister, the ruling party could appoint Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai and MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar as the Deputy Chief Ministers of the coastal state, sources told Zee News.

Notably, both parties (GFP and MGP) have three MLAs each and their support is essential to form a government in the coastal state, whose 40-strong assembly is currently down to 36 members. If reports are to be believed, both Sardesai and Dhavalikar had initially refused to publicly endorse Sawant’s candidature as the MGP leader himself has put his hat in the ring for the Chief Minister’s post.

Earlier the swearing-in ceremony of new Chief Minister and his deputies was scheduled at 11 PM at the Raj Bhavan but got postponed due to some unknown reasons.

“The BJP had finalised Sawant’s candidature last night. But we only managed to convince alliance partners today (Monday) evening in the presence of our national President Amit Shah and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. He will be sworn in as Chief Minister later today,” a BJP leader who did not want to be identified told news agency IANS.

Earlier on Sunday, the Congress party had claimed to be the single largest party in the 36-member state legislative Assembly and had formally staked its claim to form government in Goa with Governor Mridula Sinha.

“The coalition partners of the Parrikar-led government had allied with the BJP on the condition that the government would be headed by Parrikar, the then Defence Minister of India. The BJP, therefore, has no allies as of now,”Congress leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said in a letter to Sinha.

Furthermore, Kavlekar stated that it was up to her (Sinha) to ensure the “smooth transition and transfer of power” in the state.

“The Congress being the single largest party, its leader is entitled to be invited to form the next government. We therefore once again stake our claim to form the government and request Your Excellency to extend the invitation to our leaders to form the next government,” the letter read.