Manohar Parrikar to contest by-poll from seat vacated by Congress MLA Vishwajeet Rane?
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who won the trust vote in the Assembly today, is likely to contest from Valpoi constituency, vacated after resignation of Congress MLA Vishwajeet Rane.
Parrikar needs to become a member of the Legislative Assembly within six months of assuming the chief minister’s office. He is currently a member of the Rajya Sabha.
He was an MLA from Panaji from 1994 to 2014, before he shifted to the Centre as Defence Minister in Narendra Modi government.
As the BJP has only 13 MLAs in 40-member Goa Assembly, it is highly unlikely that the party would ask any of them to vacate the seat for Parrikar. It is but inevitable that he would now contest from Valpoi, which was won by Congress’ Vishwajeet Rane in recently held elections.
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.
He had yesterday accused senior Congress leaders for botching up the bid to stake claim to power in Goa and had written a letter to party vice-president Rahul Gandhi seeking an appointment.
“I am fed up of this party. No decision yet on which platform I’ll contest from. I’m going back to my people to ask them,” Vishwajit, son of senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Pratapsinh Rane, told reporters after submitting his resignation.
When asked if he could join the BJP, he said,"I am not ruling out anything. All options are open."
The pre and post-election matters of the Congress in Goa were handled by General Secretary Digvijaya Singh and the party Secretary Chellakumar, who have been camping in Goa.
Digvijay Singh had yesterday said that Rane met Parrikar at a hotel in Goa and asked him to explain “what he was doing.”
“All is well internally within the party. Rane should explain what he was doing with Parrikar in a hotel,” Singh said.
Rane, however, denied meeting Parrikar.
Parrikar today proved his majority on the floor of the Goa Assembly by winning the trust vote with the support of 22 legislators in the 40-member House.
The BJP won 13 seats, four less than the Congress which bagged 17 seats.