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Congress MLA from Goa Vishwajit Rane confirmed on Thursday that he had resigned from the party and would recontest from Valpoi. Naming AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh as the reason for the “disgusting failure of the Congress in Goa”, Rane said the decision to resign was taken after he heard Singh alleging that he had sided with the BJP and was seen having tea with Manohar Parrikar at a hotel.
“That was a huge statement he made. I decided then that I would quit the party and abstain from voting. Such statements cannot be tolerated. In the campaign we worked as one force, fighting the BJP and non-secular fronts. This absolute lethargy of Singh and the central observers was shocking,” he said.
“What was the great meeting and secret ballot delay for? We were made to wait in a hotel while they kept doing secret ballots for the CLP (Congress Legislature Party) leadership. The mismanagement was killing… Goa Forward wanted Digambar Kamat as chief minister, all it would have taken was a call to Rahul Gandhi to get it sorted. We would have agreed as it’s after five years that we have got the mandate of the people. We were treated like schoolchildren waiting for results,” he said.
Saying that the first person to be upset with his decision was his father and veteran Congress leader Pratapsingh Rane, he said, “I am accountable to my people and cannot go with the party anymore.”
He added, “I have still not got a call from the high command, that shows how they have been fed with wrong information. I was their last hope.”
CLP leader Babu Kavlekar said Rane’s move came as a “shock” to the party. The party will file a disqualification petition with the Speaker’s office on Friday.
Ramakant Khalap, former Union MoS and media cell chairman of Congress, said, “Rane has raised a bitter toast to democracy… The party condemns his behaviour… The BJP is also not unsullied… The Congress will fight back and emerge victorious.”