The Bombay High Court today dismissed a petition filed by the Congress, seeking disqualification of state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane. Rane, who was elected on a Congress ticket in this year’s Goa Assembly election, had resigned after taking oath as the MLA and quit the party.
He joined the BJP and was inducted into the Manohar Parrikar-led Cabinet. Subsequently, he won a by-election from Valpoi with a whopping margin in August. While the Goa bench of the high court today rejected the petition against him, the detailed order wasn’t available immediately.
The petition said Rane should be disqualified from contesting election under the anti-defection law, as he defied the party whip to vote against Parrikar government’s trust motion after the election. Rane had abstained from voting before resigning as a legislator.
Reacting to the ruling, Rane alleged that the main opposition party had filed the petition only to cover its own failures. “I have complete faith in the legislature and the judiciary, I have a disqualification petition pending against me which is before the Speaker. I always believed in the judiciary,” he said at a press conference.
He claimed that the Congress was a “bankrupt party” which resorted to stunts like filing disqualification petitions to hide its own failures from the public.
He said many Congress leaders in the state were under a cloud. “Congress leaders in Goa are today being investigated by various criminal (investigation) agencies and different types of police agencies for illegalities committed by them when in power,” he claimed.