MUMBAI: With the resignation of the Goa Congress MLA Vishwajit Rane, speculations are rife that he took the step to vacate the seat for Manohar Parrikar and might contest from his father Pratapsingh Rane’s seat on a BJP ticket.
Sources indicate that more Congress MLAs in Goa are likely to follow Rane who left the party blaming the leadership on Thursday.
The three-time Congress MLA submitted his resignation to pro-tem Speaker Siddharth Kuncolienkar minutes after the trust vote. He also quit the party after refusing to vote against the trust motion, defying the party whip.
The 45-year-old leader said he was upset with the party leadership as it failed to form the government in Goa despite people giving a mandate to the Congress in the Assembly polls.
“My frustration comes from the manner in which the party is functioning. I am frustrated, disillusioned,” Rane said, adding he would meet his constituents and take a call on which party to join, if at all.
“This is not an unexpected development,” a senior Congress leader from Maharashtra told the New Indian Express, while reacting to Vishwajit’s resignation from membership of the legislature and the party.
Rane said the Goa Forward Party, whose three MLAs later extended support to Parrikar and which had contested the election on anti-BJP plank, wanted former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat to be elected as the Congress Legislature Party leader and not Luizinho Faleiro. However, the Congress leadership was not agreeable.
Pratapsingh Rane—also likely to resign soon—might be offered a plum post by the BJP, said a Congress leader in Mumbai on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, Union minister and senior BJP leader in-charge of Goa, Nitin Gadkari hinted at a press conference in Mumbai that a few more Congress MLAs might be on their way out from the party.
“Congress in Goa is riddled with several problems. I won’t be able to tell you everything. But, one has resigned today (Thursday). I heard that many more are in the mood to follow him,” Nitin Gadkari said at the press conference.
(With PTI inputs)