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Goa Cong leaders upset with Centre's decision

Sandesh Prabhudesai in Panaji | March 06, 2005 20:29 IST

Enraged Congressmen in Goa are planning to lodge with the party leadership their protest against the imposition of the President's rule in the state.

South Goa member of Parliament Churchill Alemao on Saturday blasted Union Home Minister Shivaraj Patil for making Goa the scapegoat by imposing the President's rule to save the party's face after the Jharkhand controversy.

Though Goa Pradesh Congress Committee chief Luizinho Faleiro publicly welcomed the Centre's decision, none of the other Congress leaders are happy with it.

"It is not fair to allow [the happenings in] Jharkhand and punish Goa in spite of [the Pratapsinh Rane government] winning the confidence vote in a democratic manner," said a fuming Alemao.

He wanted the President's rule to be revoked and the Pratapsinh Rane government to be restored.

Rather than blaming the whole central leadership, the state Congress leaders have decided to target only Patil. Even All India Congress Committee general secretary Margaret Alva and Priyaranjan Das Munshi are reportedly upset with the decision. Both of them had been monitoring the month-long game of bringing the Congress to power in the state.

Rane had won the confidence vote on Friday, after Pro-tem Speaker Francisco Sardinha cast his vote to break a tie. Sardinha had earlier restrained United Goans Democratic Party legislator Mathany Saldhana from voting, issuing ad-interim order on a petition seeking Saldhana's disqualification.

However, Patil had expressed his disapproval of the way the speaker had acted. He had said it was similar to the act of former speaker Vishwas Satarkar of the BJP, who had not allowed Philip Neri Rodrigues to vote when the BJP-led government under Manohar Parrikar had moved the trust vote on February 2.

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