Panaji, March 16: Goa Congress MLA Vishwajit Rane on Thursday resigned as an MLA as well as from the party soon after Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar won the trust vote in the Assembly. The Protem Speaker has asked Rane to rethink his decision. Rane remained absent during Parrikar’s trust vote, which the Chief Minister won 22-16. He had raised questions over the Congress leadership in Goa after the party failed to form the government in the state even as it emerged as the single largest party in Goa Assembly elections 2017.
Earlier, there were reports that Congress leaders were unable to trace Rane after he skipped the trust vote. “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. Even his father doesn’t know where he is,” Congress Legislative Party Leader Chandrakant Kavlekar had said.
Rane had been upset over the Congress leadership and even raised questions over Goa Congress in-charge Digvijaya Singh. On Wednesday, Rane had hit out at Digvijaya Singh and 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 he had written to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and had 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 saying all was well within the Congress party. Singh even questioned Rane. “All is well internally within the party. Rane should explain what he was doing with Parrikar in a hotel,” Singh said. The Congress failed to form a government in Goa despite winning 17 seats in the 40-seat Assembly while the Bharatiya Janata Party, that won 13 seats, managed to garner support from allies and formed the government.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi alleged that the BJP used money power to ‘steal the government in Goa’. Parrikar refuted allegations saying the BJP proved support without keeping MLAs restricting in a hotel or resort.