Panaji, March 16: In a shocker to the Congress, the party’s Goa MLA Vishwajit Rane on Thursday remained absent from Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s trust vote. While Manohar Parrikar won the vote 22-16, Rane was nowhere to be found, leaving Congress leaders clueless. Even after the trust vote got over, Congress MLAs said that they were not being able to get in touch with Rane even as he had signed the whip for all party MLAs to vote for the Congress. “We tried to find out if he was in the washroom, but could not find him. We tried to contact him but he was untraceable, he was with us since morning and signed on the whip too, said Congress Legislative Party Leader Chandrakant Kavlekar.

He added that even Rane’s father did not know where he was. “Even his father doesn’t know where he is,” Kavlekar said. Rane had been arguing that it was the lack of enthusiasm on part of Goa Congress in-charge Digvijaya Singh that the party could not form the government in the state despite winning 17 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party won only 13.  On Wednesday, Rane asked how despite having the mandate of 17 seats in Goa, the situation was ‘mismanaged by people in-charge of the state of affairs in Goa’. Rane also said that has written to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and has full faith that he’ll respond. “If he doesn’t respond then me and some others will decide if it is ideal to stay in party or not,” Rane had threatened.

However, Digvijaya Singh had refuted Rane’s claims and said that all was well withing the party. Singh even questioned Rane on his alleged closeness with Parrikar. “All is well internally within the party. Rane should explain what he was doing with Parrikar in a hotel,” Singh said.

Meanwhile, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar won the trust vote on Thursday and said that the Bharatiya Janata Party proved majority without keeping MLAs in a hotel. He took on the Congress, saying, “Digvijaya’s claims that they have numbers, debunked. Right from the beginning they didn’t have the numbers. It was only hype possibly because there was a demand that was coming that Digvijaya steps down as General Secretary.”