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Speaker to be elected as budget session begins

Panaji: The three-day budget session of the Goa assembly will commence on Wednesday with the election of the speaker.Both, BJP’s Sakhali MLA Pramod Sawant and Congress’ Curtorim MLA Alexio Reginaldo Lourenco filed their nomination papers for the post on Tuesday.While the BJP finalized Sawant’s name on Monday, the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) unanimously selected Lourenco for the post on Tuesday.Both parties are yet to finalize their individual nominations for the deputy speaker’s post, the elections for which are scheduled for Friday.On Thursday, governor Mridula Sinha will address the assembly. The government is also likely to table its state economic survey.
Chief minister Manohar Parrikar will present the state budget for 2017-18 on Friday. “The governor’s speech will broadly highlight the government’s political and policy directions,” Parrikar had said.In the 40-member assembly, the BJP-led government has 22 seats — 13 BJP MLAs, nine MLAs from alliance partners. It also has the support of the lone NCP MLA Churchill Alemao. The Benaulim MLA had given his support to the BJP-led coalition government during the crucial floor test held on March 17.The nine MLAs from allied partners include three each of the GFP and MGP, and three independents.Congress, which won 17 seats, has 16 MLAs after Vishwajit Rane resigned as Valpoi MLA.A senior BJP leader said that with this being the new government’s first budget, Parrikar will likely present a populist budget. [TOI]

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