Panaji, May 21: Some prominent Congressmen, including Goa Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ravi Naik are leaving for New Delhi on Sunday, giving rise to speculations about revival of the demand for changes in the legislature party and organisational leadership.
Among those headed for New Delhi to press for these demands before the high command are Town and Country Planning Minister Atanasio Monserrate and Calangute MLA Agnelo Fernandes.
Highly-placed sources said that some Congress MLAs have expressed displeasure over the “lackadaisical” approach of CM Rane to the issues raised by them, including developmental activities being held back in their constituencies.
The Congress MLAs also feel that the Chief Minister is “over-protecting” Public Works Department Minister Ramkrishna Dhavalikar, who they claim was withholding developmental activities in their constituencies.
The CLP members are also unhappy over Rane ignoring their recommendations for recruitment to various posts in the government, despite the candidates meeting all requirements, added the source.
Though the anti-Rane lobby has been active for some time now, the joining of Monserrate to the camp has only emboldened it leading to fresh move, said the sources adding that Mr Monserrate and Mr Naik struck a deal earlier this week to work together to unseat Rane.
Naik and Monserrate have mutually agreed to help one another in “acquiring” the post of their choice, said the sources adding the incumbent Goa Pradesh Congress Committee chief has agreed to relinquish the chair of the GPCC chief in favour of Monserrate, and in turn Monserrate has agreed to throw his weight behind Naik to make him the chief minister.
The anti-Rane lobby has been making persistent efforts to pull him down from the chair of the Chief Minister but has failed on every occasion in the past. However, this time they are confident that the move will succeed as Mr Monserrate has joined them.
The sources in the party said Rane got the wind of fresh moves against him and acted swiftly to take the wind out of sails of his opponents within the party by announcing magisterial inquiry in the Sanvordem violence and rioting cases, a weapon which his opponents were sure to use against him in the fresh move to oust him.
The anti-Rane camp has been attacking him on the issue alleging that he was “shielding” the perpetrators of the violence, said the sources. The baitors of Rane had complained to the party high command on several occasions in the past about indecisiveness of Mr Rane on the issue which had put party leadership in an embarrassing position, the sources added.
Though the visit of Goan leaders to national capital is being said to be a courtesy call to wish her on her resounding victory in the recent by-elections from Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency, they will utilise the opportunity seeking changes in the party set up as well as the government in the state.
The sources also said that Naik was scheduled to visit New Delhi in the middle of next week, to attend the All India Congress Committee session on May 26.