An embattled Congress was dealt another blow in Goa on Thursday when an MLA, Vishwajit Rane, quit the assembly and the party, saying the leadership had failed him.
The Congress is facing a growing rift in the ranks after the BJP beat to it form the government even though it finished second in the coastal state, which voted a hung House.
Earlier in the day, Rane stayed away from the vote of confidence that the Manohar Parrikar government won, with 22 MLAs voting in its favour in the 40-member assembly.
“It was a tough decision but the Congress high command failed me badly. They refused to take a call even after getting a good number. Sitting in air-conditioned rooms they felt that they could form the government but they lost to BJP badly,” Rane told HT.
He submitted his resignation letter to the pro tem speaker.
The BJP finished second with 13 members but moved quickly to stitch a coalition with regional parties and Independents.
Elected from Valpoi, Rane is the son of Congress veteran and former chief minister Pratapsingh Rane.
The central leadership had conspired to ensure that the party didn’t form the government, Rane said, adding the Congress behaved like a party fit for retired people.
“It does not value young leaders. While the BJP was working to get the numbers, our party failed to even elect a CLP (Congress legislature party) leader. This was the pace at which they were operating,” he said.
Rane said he had also quit the Congress and would contest the bypoll in Valpoi, which will be called following his resignation.
“I am yet to take a call on whether I will join the BJP or not but I am definitely not going to come back to the Congress,” he said.
His father, Pratapsingh, has been elected an MLA from Poriem.
Rane said it was tough call and his father was not even talking to him but he wanted to raise his voice against what was happening in the party.
“I am confident that in the coming days many people will join me,” he said. A lot of young MLAs from across the country had called him up and extended support after he announced the decision, Rane said.