No-confidence motion against Goa Speaker defeated

Panaji,: A no-confidence motion against Goa Legislative Assembly Speaker Pratapsingh Rane, moved by opposition BJP, was on Thursday defeated by a head count.

The motion was defeated 23-14 on the floor of the House, after the culmination of an hour long debate.

In the 39-member Assembly, 37 legislators voted. Independent legislator Anil Salgaoncar abstained, while deputy Speaker Mauvin Godinho could not vote as he was occupying the Speaker's chair during the entire debate.

BJP had moved a no-confidence motion against the Speaker alleging that he was unfair to the Opposition.

The party legislators, led by Manohar Parrikar, had contended that the Speaker was indiscriminately delaying the verdict of various disqualification petitions filed before his office.

Supporting the motion, Parrikar alleged that Rane had termed BJP as a "fraud political party" at a function recently.

"If Speaker starts calling Opposition a fraud then we have a doubt about his non-partisan behaviour," he said.

The Leader of Opposition said the Speaker's behaviour was indicative that he had a mindset leaning towards the ruling party.

Chief Minister Digamber Kamat, opposing the motion, termed Rane as an "impartial" Speaker.

"In fact, legislators from my party complain that Speaker gave more time to the Opposition," he said.

Rejecting the allegations made against him by Parrikar, Rane said he has always acted in favour of democracy.

"I never talk of BJP or any party. I talk about what we can do for the people of Goa. I say what we are here for and what we can do," he added.

The ongoing monsoon session will end tomorrow.