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CM Rane, Naik to meet Sonia Gandhi

Written by: Staff

Panaji, Apr 4: Goa Chief Minister Pratapsinh Rane and Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Ravi Naik are scheduled to meet AICC president Sonia Gandhi and other members of the party high command in New Delhi this evening to resolve intra-group politics of Goa.

The meet is significant because the general elections are slated for June next year, while most of the incumbent legislators are against mid-term polls. Both the leaders are camping in Delhi now.

Goa, known for its vitriolic politics under respective Congress regimes, is marred by internecine squabbles and group politics since the formation of the state on May 30, 1985.

Despite Ms Gandhi's directive to the partymen during her recent visit to Goa to shun groupism and observe discipline to rejuvenate the party from the grassroots level for the upcoming elections next year, group politics has not subsided.

Goa had witnessed President's rule twice since it attained statehood and had 14 chief ministers in last four general elections.

Some Churchill Alemao had terms as short as 19 days. The MP from South Goa, stirred hornet's nest on Mopa airport issue.

The airport issue is also likely to figure in the discussions with the high command, as it had polarised the Congress into two groups-- one led by Alemao against Mopa and the other in favour.

The group led by Mr Naik was making all efforts for a leadership change alleging that Mr Rane had failed to prevent and effectively control the recent bout of communal violence that rocked the state, destroying its traditional amity and harmony.

Several ministers, including the coalition partners such as the NCP, MGP and an independent, are in favour of Mr Rane's leadership.

Another interesting turn was made by Town and Country Planning Minister Atanasio Monserrate, who bolstered by victory of his panel members in the recent elections to the corporation of city of Panaji, is determined to become the GPCC president by replacing Mr Naik.

A delegation including some young ministers, led by Mr Monserrate, is also keen to call on the party high command to apprise it of the political situation under Mr Rane's regime, which was however dubbed by the BJP as ''utter failure''.

Meanwhile, Mr Rane is also scheduled to participate in a meeting convened today by the Central Water Commission to thrash out inter-state water dispute on diversion of Mhadei river waters into Malprabha basin, where Karnataka proposes to build seven dams and hydroelectric projects.

His Maharashtra and Karnataka counterparts are also expected to participate in the meeting, even as Goa opposed Karnataka's efforts to build dams stating that it would endanger ecological balance.

Goa government has also demanded that a water dispute tribunal should be constituted to resolve the issue at the earliest.


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