Panaji: Congress secretary A Chellakumar has claimed that Goa BJP minister Vishwajit Rane wanted to split the ruling party in the state and join the main opposition party after the Lok Sabha polls due next year.
Vishwajit Rane, however, denied the claims.
Mr Chellakumar claimed that till two months ago, Mr Rane was in touch with him over the issue. His remarks came after two Goa Congress legislators, Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar, left for Delhi late on Monday night amid speculations that they might join the BJP.
Mr Rane, 45, also left for the national capital a little before their departure.
He was elected on the Congress’ ticket from Valpoi constituency during the Assembly polls last year but within a few days, he resigned as MLA and also from the opposition party, and joined the ruling BJP.
“Many people from the ruling side were in touch with me. Our friend Vishwajit Rane used to call me often and he has a fear psychosis…he spoke to me two months back also,” Mr Chellakumar told news agency PTI over the phone on Monday night.
He claimed Mr Rane used to say that he was a Congressman and would always remain so. He would “split the BJP” and then return to the Congress, Mr Chellakumar claimed.
Denying the claims, Mr Rane said Mr Chellakumar is a “frustrated man” because he is unable to keep his partymen together.
“I have no communication with him (Chellakumar). They (Congress) had filed (disqualification) case against me even in the Supreme Court. I have no interest and I never contacted him, though he had tried to reach me. There is no question of me contacting Chellakumar,” the BJP leader said.
Goa is witnessing hectic political activity against the backdrop of the ill-health of Chief minister Manohar Parrikar. He is currently being treated by doctors from state-run Goa Medical College and Hospital at his private residence at Dona Paula near Panaji.
In the 40-member Goa Assembly, the Parrikar government has the support of 23 MLAs. These comprise 14 BJP MLAs, three each from the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party as well as three Independents.
The Congress is the single largest party in the state Assembly with 16 MLAs.