Goa: Ex-Cong MLA Vishwajeet Rane set to become minister in BJP-led govt

The former Valpoi legislator had resigned from the Congress as well as an MLA on the day Parrikar won the crucial Assembly floor test.

Panaji: Former Congress MLA Vishwajit Rane will be formally inducted in the BJP as well as in the Manohar Parrikar-led cabinet in Goa.

The BJP's Goa Legislature wing on Monday met under the leadership of Parrikar, where it was decided to induct Rane, son of Congress veteran and former chief minister Pratapsinh Rane.

The development is viewed as another jolt to the Congress, whereas for the BJP, Rane's entry into the party fold is expected to strengthen the saffron footprint.

"The BJP legislature wing has decided to welcome Vishwajit Rane into the party. It has also been decided that he would be inducted in the state cabinet," the Goa BJP legislature wing spokesman Michael Lobo told reporters after emerging from the meeting.

Lobo said the exact date of Rane's entry into the saffron camp and his induction as a minister, is yet to be decided.

"During the meeting, Parrikar took into confidence all the legislators and it was unanimously decided to have Rane in the party," he said.

The former Valpoi legislator had resigned from the Congress as well as an MLA on March 16, the day Parrikar won a crucial trust vote on the floor of the House.

Rane was upset with the AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh for "failing" to form the government in Goa despite the party having a majority.

When contacted, Rane said he is looking forward to starting his inning in the BJP.

I will contribute for the growth of BJP in the State. I would contest Assembly bypoll in Valpoi constituency on BJP ticket," he said.

During the trust vote held in the 40-member House, Parrikar proved his majority with 12 legislators from the BJP, three from the Goa Forward Party (GFP), three from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), three Independents and one from the NCP voting in favour of the trust motion.

The opposition benches included 16 MLAs from Congress, as Vishwajit Rane had remained absent during the voting.

The Congress, despite emerging as the single largest party in the elections, could not form the government while the BJP made deft moves by securing support from regional outfits and independents.

Days after losing the trust vote, the Goa Congress had said it would seek disqualification of Rane from contesting elections for defying its whip to vote against the motion.

Parrikar had last month allocated portfolios to nine ministers, including the allies, while keeping the crucial departments such as Home, Finance and Education with himself.

( Source : PTI )
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