Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP's Goa desk in-charge Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday, December 7, hinted at breaking away one more Congress MLA, former Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane, on a day when another former Goa CM and Congress MLA Ravi Naik formally joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In the 2017 Goa elections, Congress had won 17 seats in the 40-member House. This number has now dwindled down to just three after the exit of Naik.
During Naik's induction ceremony, Fadnavis said that with Naik's exit, the Congress has been reduced to a three-wheeled auto, referring to the opposition party's paltry legislative strength of three MLAs and added that with the possible entry of Pratapsingh Rane into the BJP, the Congress would be reduced to a two-wheeled cycle.
"First the Congress was reduced to a Nano (small car). Once we get Pratapsingh Rane's blessings, it will be reduced to a cycle," Fadnavis said at the induction ceremony, referring to the series of desertions by sitting MLAs of the Congress party.
Rane, the most veteran Congress leader in the state, has been a chief minister for a better part of two decades and has been a member of the state assembly for 50 years without a break. Rane's son, Vishwajit, is currently the Health Minister in the BJP-led coalition government after he resigned from Congress to join BJP in 2017.
During the event, Fadnavis placed the blame on the top Congress leadership for the shambles within the party. "The reason why the Congress is like this is because the Congress has not been able to decide who will be its president for more than two years," Fadnavis said.
"For seven years, the party has not been able to appoint a Leader of Opposition, because they could not get enough MPs elected," he also said.