M A I N   N E W S

New Goa CM meets Sonia, says he will prove majority
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
With the BJP mounting an offensive against the Congress for the “illegal dismissal” of the Manohar Parrikar government in Goa, the newly-appointed Chief Minister, Mr Pratapsinh Rane, and PCC President Louisinho Faleiro arrived here today to counter these charges and deny reports of dissidence in its ranks over ministerial berths.

The two state leaders, along with AICC General Secretary Margaret Alva, were confident that the new government would prove its majority in the Assembly as and when the Governor directed them to go in for a floor test and predicted further desertions from the BJP ranks in the coming days. They were yet to receive a formal communiqué from the Governor fixing the day for the vote of confidence.

The Goa leaders, who are accompanied by all the legislators supporting them, met Congress President Sonia Gandhi later in the evening and assured her that the party was united and that the new government would secure the vote of confidence.

The Congress leaders also made it clear that Goa Speaker Vishwas Satarkar was their next target. They expected the Speaker to resign on his own, failing which they would seek his removal as they had already given notices of no confidence against him.

The Speaker, according to Mr Rane and Mr Faleiro, had lost the confidence of the majority of the Assembly members and should resign in keeping with the traditions of the House.

Mrs Alva, who rushed to Goa following reports of serious dissidence in the Congress ranks, today maintained that the party was united and that there was no jockeying for ministerial berths.

Mrs Alva said the Goa Cabinet at present had a strength of eight while the Constitutional provisions allowed a Cabinet of 12 members. The remaining four vacancies, she maintained, would be filled up only after the confidence vote.

Mr Rane and Mr Faleiro also presented a graphic account of the Assembly proceedings which eventually culminated in the Parrikar government’s dismissal. The BJP government, they charged, tried to manipulate the numbers on the floor of the House with the active connivance of the Speaker. Alleging that the Speaker intended to “abduct” Independent MLA Philip Neri Rodrigues prior to the vote of confidence, they said his action was totally “undemocratic” and amounted to the misuse of the Speaker’s office.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |