The Goa Congress on Tuesday said it would seek disqualification of its former MLA Vishwajeet Rane from contesting elections for defying its whip to vote against the trust motion brought by CM Manohar Parrikar last week. The absence of Rane, 45 during the majority test of the BJP-led government on the floor of the assembly on March 16 came as a huge embarrassment for the Congress.
Rane, who resigned as an MLA shortly after Parrikar sailed through the trust vote, had said he would seek re-elections from the seat he vacated.
The Congress Congress Legislature Party leader Chandrakant Kavlekar told reporters the party would approach the assembly speaker soon after his election tomorrow to seek a ban on Rane from contesting the elections for the next year six years under the Article 191 of the Constitution, but did not explain how the legal provision would serve the party’s end.
“The Congress would file a disqualification petition against Rane immediately after the election of the assembly speaker tomorrow,” said Kavlekar.
“We will seek his disqualification from contesting the election for the next six years under the relevant legal and Constitutional provisions,” he said.
The Congress had issued a whip to all its 17 members to vote against the trust motion moved by Parrikar, he said.
“A breach of whip amounts to disqualification,” he said.
The petition against Rane should have been filed soon after after he violated the whip, “but we could not understand what was happening and we did not expect him to take such a drastic step,” Kavlekar said.
“We had sought the advice of senior Congress functionaries Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi,” he said.
Parrikar won the floor test after the BJP succeeded in securing the number of legislators required for the government formation by enlisting the support of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and independents, after the polls threw up a hung verdict.
Three MLAs each of the MGP and the GFP, besides three independent legislators, are supporting the BJP-led coalition government in the coastal state, while NCP’s Churchill Alemao is providing outside support.