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Rane asked to prove majority by March 4

By Anil Sastry

PANAJI, FEB. 7. The Goa Governor, S.C. Jamir, has asked the Chief Minister, Pratapsinh Rane, who was sworn in on February 2, to seek a vote of confidence on the floor of the Assembly on or before March 4.

Sebastian Zumvu, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Governor, who is in Delhi along with Mr. Jamir, told The Hindu over the phone that Mr. Rane had been given 30 days' time from the date of swearing-in to prove his majority.

When contacted, Mr. Rane said he would hold a press conference but did not specify any date. Though there were reports of distribution of portfolios to his ministerial colleagues by Mr. Rane, no official announcement was made till late this evening. Mr. Rane expanded his Cabinet on February 3, taking its strength to eight and keeping four more berths vacant. The Goa Pradesh Congress chief, Luizinho Faleiro, who has just returned from Delhi, said he was not aware of the allocation of portfolios.

Chief Secretary shifted

The Union Home Ministry has relieved the Goa Chief Secretary, D.S. Negi, of his duties and has asked him to report to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as its Chief Secretary by February 9. Mr. Negi, who received the transfer order just before the political crisis broke out last week, stayed back due to the political developments.

Confirming that he had received the relieving order, Mr. Negi told The Hindu that he would ask the State Government to relieve him while saying that Mr. Rane was asking him to stay back.

In another development, the Government has relieved the Director of Information, Dilip Deshpande, of his duties and asked Menino Peres, earlier a Joint Director in the Department, to take over.

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