Goa govt to confer ‘lifelong cabinet status’ on Cong leader Pratapsingh Rane

Updated on Jan 07, 2022 12:46 PM IST
Pratapsingh Rane, a 10-time legislator, is Goa’s longest serving MLA. He also holds a record for having served as chief minister of the state for six terms, a little less than 16 years, between 1980 and 2007.
Pratapsingh Rane has a record of 50 years of public service as Chief Minister, Speaker, and MLA. (Twitter@dip_goa)
Pratapsingh Rane has a record of 50 years of public service as Chief Minister, Speaker, and MLA. (Twitter@dip_goa)
ByGerard de Souza

PANAJI: The ruling BJP government will confer “lifelong cabinet status” on veteran Congress leader and MLA Pratapsingh Rane, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced in a move seen as an attempt to convince him not to contest the upcoming elections.

“Our government has decided to grant lifelong Cabinet status to the senior most legislator, Pratapsingh Rane ji, for his great service to the State of Goa. He has held the topmost positions in the state as the Chief Minister and Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly and completed 50 years as MLA. He will always be an inspiration to the people of Goa across strata,” Sawant said in a statement.

“I look forward to his continued guidance as we work towards the welfare of the people and development of the State. I congratulate him and wish him all the very best in all his future endeavours,”he added.

The “lifelong cabinet status” will give Rane status and privilege equal to that of a minister through his life.

Pratapsingh Rane, a 10-time legislator, is Goa’s longest serving MLA. He also holds a record for having served as chief minister of the state for six terms, a little less than 16 years, between 1980 and 2007. He was the assembly speaker between 2007 and 2012. He had been continuously elected since 1972 to the then legislative assembly of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu.

The 82-year-old veteran politician has stayed firmly with the Congress for decades.

In December last year, Rane announced that he would be contesting the upcoming Goa polls saying that the decision was arrived at after demands from his well-wishers, supporters and workers.

His decision to contest the elections prompted outrage from his son and BJP legislator Vishwajit Rane who went ahead to suggest his father should retire.

“At 83, why does he have to continue in politics? One should gracefully retire after becoming a chief minister for more than six terms. A person who is my idol and someone I have so much respect for, that person should gracefully retire, not retire in the battlefield. It will be a very messy thing,” Vishwajit said while promising to contest against his father. Later toning down his response, he said, “We shall sort this issue amicably. Although I have decided to contest from the Poriem constituency, we will resolve this internally within the family.”

Subsequently, Pratapsingh was announced as the Congress’s official candidate from Poriem.

The senior Rane, however, appeared to backtrack from his decision to contest, saying it was perhaps time to retire.

Reacting to the decision of the Goa government, Vishwajit thanked Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant for the decision.

“There is no greater way to honour his 50 years of public service as chief minister, speaker, and MLA. This is a very special gesture, I thank Hon’ble CM @DrPramodPSawant for having conferred this recognition on my father. On behalf of the people of Sattari & Usgao, I express my gratitude to the Hon’ble Chief Minister & the entire cabinet,” Vishwajit tweeted.

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