I'll remain in Congress if it ties up with like-minded forces: Rane
Congress is facing a rebellion as senior leader Vishwajit Rane has threatened to quit the party.
Panaji: Ahead of Goa Assembly polls due next year, the state Congress is facing a rebellion as senior leader Vishwajit Rane has threatened to quit the party if it fails to forge an alliance with like-minded forces.
"The whole idea of taking up (forming) this alliance is not because anybody has any personal agenda. Look at the results in other states where BJP has won, it is only because of the division of opposition votes," Rane, an MLA representing Valpoi constituency, told reporters yesterday.
Responding to an announcement by Goa Congress chief Luizinho Faleiro that they will go alone in the next state polls, he said, "In Goa, the Congress party, whoever may be the leader, no single leader can decide what the party wants."
"If a single leader wants to decide then let him fight the election on his own, I will not be in Congress party. I will only be in Congress if it stitches up an alliance with like-minded forces," said Rane, whose father Pratapsinh Rane is the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly.
Reacting to Aam Aadmi Party's plans to contest Goa polls, the former state minister said it would be foolish to underestimate the Arvind Kejriwal-led party.
"Underestimation of AAP is also a foolishness on our part. One cannot underestimate AAP. No opposition force can be underestimated," he said.
Making a pitch to join hands with parties like Goa Forward and NCP, Rane said these factions should come together for the cause of a better Goa.
"Every party should sink their differences and come together. There are many issues on which BJP can be exposed," he said.
Meanwhile, Goa Forward party welcomed Rane's suggestions.
"Goa Forward party will take the lead to bring all secular forces together with the only aim and mission to have 'BJP-mukt' (BJP free) Goa," party spokesman Durgadas Kamat said.
"Those secular forces who do not want to be part of the grand alliance will be clearly termed as the B team of BJP," he said.
Congress was reduced to single digit in the 2012 Goa Assembly elections.
The party currently has nine legislators, one of whom (Atanasio Monserratte) has already been expelled for anti-party activities, leaving them with only eight MLAs.