In another setback for the Congress in Goa, senior leader Savio Rodrigues quit the party, saying he “cannot accept” Rahul Gandhi as his leader. “The Congress vice president is not taking responsibility, and Digvijaya Singh is responsible for the loss [in the Assembly floor test],” Rodrigues said in an interview to TimesNow. “I think Digvijaya Singh needs to get his head checked...because he is solely responsible for the damage to the Congress in Goa.”
His resignation comes a day after legislator Vishwajeet Rane quit the Congress. He had been upset with the party’s lack of urgency in forming government in Goa despite winning the most number of seats. Rane had been absent from the crucial floor test on Thursday, which the Bharatiya Janata Party had won with 22 MLAs – 13 BJP legislators supported Manohar Parrikar’s claim to the chief minister’s post.
Rodrigues clarified on Twitter that he was the vice chairman of the Goa Congress Committee’s minority cell, after reports incorrectly called him an MLA.
Rodrigues’ comments followed a harangue by Singh on Twitter against being blamed for the party’s loss in Goa. He said he had proposed “a secular alliance” with Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate’s United Goans Party and the Vijay Sardesai-led Goa Forward Party. “Our alliance with Babush went through and we won three of the five [contested seats]. But our alliance with Goa Forward was sabotaged by our own leaders,” he said.
The senior Congress leader also took a swipe at claims that the party had not acted fast enough to choose its legislative leader. “The BJP has yet to decide its leader in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The results came on [March] 11th evening,” he said.
Singh also said that he would appeal to President Pranab Mukherjee to note Goa Governor Mridula Sinha’s conduct. “I am a psychologist, so I studied and analysed the MLAs. Then I felt I should speak to [Finance Minister] Arun Jaitley and called him – Goa governor on how she decided the chief minister” he said on Twitter, adding that he would bring up the alleged meeting between Sinha and Jaitley in Parliament.
While the Congress won from 17 of the 40 constituencies in the Assembly elections, it failed to garner the majority in the Assembly floor on Thursday. It had tried to stop Parrikar from being sworn in on Tuesday by filing an appeal for urgent hearing in the Supreme Court, which ultimately ruled in the BJP’s favour.