Pramod Sawant,
incumbent Goa chief minister and the man leading BJP’s poll charge in India’s
smallest state, is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on
Tuesday, NDTV reported quoting unnamed sources. The meeting assumes
significance in light of the exit polls released Monday evening which showed
Goa heading towards a hung Assembly.

Opoyi’s exit poll of exit polls, based on an average of state exit polls by averaging out the
mid-point and range outcomes predicted across all published exit polls, predicts
that the BJP may win 15 to 18 seats in the Goa Assembly while the Congress may
win 14 to 18. The Goa Assembly has 40 seats and a party or coalition needs 21
seats to secure a majority and form the government.

Sawant’s meeting
with Modi ahead of the poll results on March 10 indicates the BJP has already
started on working out its numbers game in the event of a hung House. The 2022
Assembly polls
in Goa were quite different for the BJP in many ways, but also
in one very significant way.

This was the first
time that Manohar Parrikar, former Goa chief minister, former Union minister
and one of the tallest national leaders from Goa, was not leading the saffron
party’s poll charge.

Pramod Sawant, 44,
an Ayurvedic doctor-turned-chief minister, has had to face up to the Parrikar
and the myriad expectations it bestows upon him. After meeting the PM,
Sawant is expected to go to Mumbai to meet BJP’s Goa in-charge and former
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.

Also Read | Goa Elections 2022: Can Pramod Sawant pass ‘Parrikar legacy’ test?

The Goa chief
minister has said that the leadership is in talks with the Maharashtrawadi
Gomantak Party (MGP) about a post-poll alliance. The MGP, one of Goa’s oldest
parties an ideological ally of the BJP, fought the 2022 Assembly polls in
alliance with the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress.

Speaking to PTI,
Pramod Sawant said BJP is optimistic about getting more than 22 seats, but if
it falls short of the numbers, “the party has also kept open the option of
seeking the support of independents at the BJP.”

Meanwhile, MGP MLA
Sudhin Dhavalikar has said his party will decide on its stance after the
election results are announced by taking the Trinamool into confidence, but
will “never support” Pramod Sawant as chief minister.