After skipping the crucial floor test on Thursday putting
the Congress party to major embarrassment in the State Legislative Assembly,
the MLA and son of veteran Congress leader Vishwajit Pratapsingh Rane resigned
as legislator and from party’s membership, within three hours after taking oath
as legislator. The Valpoi MLA will be re-contesting the election either as
Independent or on BJP platform.
The Congress strength had reduced to 16 now. The party had
won 17 of the 40 assembly seats and emerged as the single largest party.
Upset with the party’s Central leadership after failing to
form the government in the State despite having been emerged as the single
largest party during the recent polls, Rane decided to put the party to major
shame on the Floor of the House by remaining absent during the floor test- that
saw Congress getting defeated against BJP-led coalition government by 22:16
Before skipping the trust of vote motion, Rane had taken
oath as an MLA in the 40-member state legislative assembly along with his 16
other colleagues. Post oath, he left the House not to return back. When the
motion was called, the Congress legislators were seen look for Rane, who was
out of their reach.
“Vishwajit Rane has submitted me his resignation as MLA. I
have accepted it,” pro-tem Speaker Siddharat Kuncolienkar told HERALD.
Congress legislative party (CLP) leader Chandrakant
Kavalekar too confirmed Rane resignation from party membership. “He submitted the resignation to the Congress
office,” he said expressing complete shock over the development.
The Valpoi MLA had written a letter to All India Congress
committee (AICC) vice president Rahul Gandhi listing out his grievances against
the party's indecisive functioning two days earlier and had threatened to
resign if action was not taken. He had named AICC general secretary and Goa
desk in-charge Digvijay Singh responsible for the party’s mess and failure to
form the government, while demanding action against him.
The three-time Valpi MLA had won the February 4 election
with 13,493 votes. His closest competitor was Satyavijay Naik of the BJP with
Rane, contested as Independent his first assembly election
in 2007, had extended his support to Congress party. He had then joined
Congress by going for by-polls and was re-elected. He served as Minister for
Health and Agriculture in the Digamber Kamat led cabinet from 2007-2012.
Speaking to HERALD, former Minister said “I was not at all
happy the way party was functioning. Right from failing to form the government
to appointment of CLP leader, everything was just a joke”.
“I do not expect anything from the Congress. The party has
no future left in Goa. They have destroyed the trust of the people of Goa who
voted them, reposed faith in them. Not just people, but also those MLAs who won
the election with people support,” he stated.
“I am fed up of this party. No decision yet on which platform
will contest from. It could be independent or BJP. I am going back to my people
to ask them,” he said.
Earlier he had slammed party leadership saying it is a ‘joke
book’. “The Congress functions like a joke book. They spend whole day selected
a CLP leader. Congress should have decided about post poll alliance on March 11
itself, when the results were out,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the CLP has express shock over the development. “We
are shocked with his decision. Until in the morning, everything was going so
well. He was very much party of the Congress legislative wing. He had extended
his full support. We don’t know what went wrong,” Kavalekar said.
Apparently, Rane was furious with party high command over
appointment of Kavalekar as CLP leader. Rane, who had projected his father
Pratapsingh Rane as the next Congress chief minister during the poll campaign,
was disheartened and anguished.
Rane had earlier stated that there were more disillusioned
MLAs in the party and they could resign as well. He however did not reveal who.
Several MLAs have voiced their anger against the leadership.