Bicholim MLA Rajesh Patnekar of the BJP and Senior Congress leader and Poriem legislator Pratapsingh Rane on Monday filed nomination papers for the election to the post of Speaker of the state legislative assembly.
The election to the said constitutional post will be held on Tuesday (June 4) for which a daylong session has been convened by Governor Mridula Sinha.
The Speaker’s post has been lying vacant since the time the earlier speaker Pramod Sawant was sworn in as the Chief Minister in March, following the death of the then chief minister Manohar Parrikar.
Calangute MLA Michael Lobo, who is the Deputy Speaker, has been officiating as Speaker since then.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Deputy Chief Ministers Vijai Sardesai and Manohar Azgaonkar and all BJP MLAs accompanied Patnekar to officiating secretary of the state legislative assembly Namrata Ulman at the assembly complex in Porvorim to file the nomination papers.
On the other hand, Rane was accompanied by all-India Congress committee secretary in-charge of Goa desk, Chella Kumar, Congress legislature party leader Chandrakant Kavlekar and other party MLAs.
Interacting with media persons, the Chief Minister expressed confidence of Patnekar winning the election to the Speaker’s post with the support of its alliance partners and Independent MLAs.
“We are confident of winning… You will see 23 MLAs voting in favour of our candidate,” Sawant asserted.
Sardesai said that Goa Forward Party MLAs will support the BJP candidate, predicting that Patnekar will win the election as he will get more than 23 votes.
Kavlekar appealed to all legislators, including MLAs from
the ruling side, to vote for the Congress
“I urge all the MLAs to vote for Rane factoring in his past record as a Speaker and as an MLA. He has been nominated by us as he is the most suitable candidate for the Speaker’s post,” he said, adding that Rane could be elected unopposed.
Rane in his part said that in his political career he has never lost an election, which prompted him to file his nomination papers.
“So far I have not lost any election and this is why I am requesting my members… we are still short of numbers, therefore, they must think. As a Speaker, I have played a neutral role. Once I become the Speaker I belong to the House and whatever decision is to be taken I take them independently,” he said.
When questioned whether he will also convince his son Vishwajit Rane who is the Health Minister in the BJP-led coalition government to vote for him, senior Rane said that he will request all MLAs from the ruling side to vote for him.
Margao MLA Digambar Kamat said the Congress party was very serious about the election and nominated Rane to send a clear message to the people of Goa.