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Goa CM to face confidence vote

March 04, 2005 08:58 IST

Goa Chief Minister Pratap Singh Rane will seek a vote of confidence on the floor of the assembly on Friday.

However, the numbers game seems weighed against him.

The ruling Congress has 16 members of Legislative Assembly, excluding Pro-tem Speaker Francisco Sardinha, in a House with an effective strength of 34. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has 17 MLAs supporting it.

Under the circumstances, the fate of a disqualification petition filed by Congress member Jitendra Deshprabhu against United Goan Democratic Party MLA Mathany Saldanha, a saffron supporter, could play a crucial role. The petition will bring into sharp focus the role of Sardinha as speaker.

If Saldanha is disqualified or barred from voting, the strength of the BJP benches will be reduced to 16, the same as the Congress. In such a situation, Sardinha, belonging to the Congress, can see the ruling party through with his casting vote.

Independent MLA and former deputy chief minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues, who was disqualified by former speaker Vishwas Satarkar of the BJP, has approached Sardinha for certified copies of the order of his disqualification and is likely to approach the high court for relief.

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