Congress scoured Goa assembly toilets to locate ‘missing’ MLA

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Panaji, March 16 (IANS) Ironically, it was the Congress and not the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar-led government, which seemed desperate not to lose face, during the floor test in the state legislative assembly on Thursday.

The principal opposition, whose actions after the March 11 vote-count have been marked by disarray and chaos, almost went into hyper-mode looking for its “missing” legislator Vishwajit Rane, even checking the toilets in the state assembly complex to trace him, seconds before the trust vote, which was eventually won by Parrikar 22-16.

“We did know how and when he (Rane) disappeared. We do not know where he is. One moment he was perfectly ok, smiling, chatting with us. He also took oath as MLA, but just before the confidence motion was moved, he disappeared,” Congress Legislature Party leader Chandrakant Kavlekar told IANS.

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“We checked everywhere, in the lobbies, in the washrooms, in the passages. Rane was nowhere to be found,” Kavlekar said soon after the party failed to come up with numbers to beat the BJP in the trust vote.

Kavlekar also said that he had asked Rane’s father, also a sitting Congress legislator from Poriem, about his son’s whereabouts, but he too was unsure.

“We do not know the reasons for his disappearance. Whether it was a health problem or a personal problem. We could not contact him,” he said.

Rane’s disappearance from the vote count embarrassed the Congress, which had claimed that it had the numbers to form a government in Goa.

Eventually, during the trust vote, the Congress, which was the single largest party with 17 lawmakers, not only could not pull Independent legislators and allies to its side, it could not even retain its own flock, with Rane playing truant.

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Rane, the Valpoi legislator, subsequently later told reporters, that he was disillusioned with the Congress party and had submitted his resignation to the Speaker as well as to the Congress leadership.

“And the manner in which things are going on in the Congress and the poor manner with which the general secretaries are handling it, aggressive leaders like me, will quit the Congress across the country. The Congress central leadership should discuss and act against them (overseers),” he said.



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