Panaji: Former defence minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday took oath as the 13th Chief Minister of Goa.
Goa Governor Mridula Sinha administered the oath of office to Parrikar at the Raj Bhavan here.
In a major setback to the Congress Party, the Supreme Court earlier in the day refused to stay the swearing-in of Parrikar and ordered a floor test in the state assembly at 11 a.m. on March 16.
Parrikar yesterday quit as the defence minister of India, a post he had been holding since November 2014 after first reshuffle of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet.
At that time, he was serving his second term as the Chief Minister of Goa.
Parrikar will replace incumbent Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.
Parrikar has been Goa’s Chief Minister twice before and has been credited with strengthening the BJP in the coastal state.
He has been a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since a young age and is an alumnus of the IIT-Bombay.
His first term as the Goa Chief Minister was from 2000 to 2005 and his second term began in 2012.
Parrikar’s term as the Defence Minister was marked by a continued period of tension on the India-Pakistan border, following a string of Pakistan-backed terrorist strikes and ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir.
He also presided over the forces’ surgical strikes on terrorist camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and their punitive response to ceasefire violations.
Parrikar steered the Defence Ministry through a string of high-profile acquisitions of weaponry, many of which had been in limbo for years.
The BJP, which won 13 seats in the 40-member Goa Assembly, managed to garner support from other parties and Independents to attain majority under Parrikar.
Three MLAs of the Goa Forward Party, three of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and two Independents have pledged their support to Parrikar.
The Congress won 17 seats in the recently concluded polls.