Goa: Pratapsingh Rane refutes Fadnavis’ claims over daughter-in-law’s candidature

Updated on Jan 21, 2022 02:06 AM IST
Veteran Goa Congress leader Pratapsingh Rane denied claims that he has granted the BJP his consent to field his daughter-in-law Divya Rane from Poriem, which he represents in the outgoing assembly
Goa election: Congress leader and former chief minister Pratapsingh Rane has represented the Poriem seat in the assembly for nearly five decades (File Photo/Twitter@dip_goa)
Goa election: Congress leader and former chief minister Pratapsingh Rane has represented the Poriem seat in the assembly for nearly five decades (File Photo/Twitter@dip_goa)
ByGerard de Souza

PANAJI: Senior Congress leader Pratapsingh Rane has refuted claims that he has granted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) his “consent” to field his daughter-in-law Divya Rane from his sitting seat, Poriem.

Reacting to comments made by BJP Goa election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis, who said that Rane was “approached” and asked to “give the seat to the BJP, he said: “It is not right. My name is being used, it should not be done. Poriem is not my backyard. This is fake news. Fadnavis met me several days ago. He had visited me. But I have not spoken any politics with him. Whether I contest or not is a different matter. First this needs to be clarified,” Rane told reporters on Thursday evening.

The octogenarian Rane who has been representing the Poriem seat for nearly five decades has remained faithful to the Congress but his son Vishwajit who has been representing the neighbouring Valpoi seat since 2007 joined the BJP in 2017. The BJP has now fielded Vishwajit’s wife Divya from Poriem.

Speaking in Delhi on Thursday morning Devendra Fadnavis said that the BJP has “requested” Pratapsingh Rane not to contest from the seat he has been representing for the past 50 years and instead “give the seat to the BJP” by either contesting on a BJP ticket or withdrawing from the race.

“He accepted and said that I have aged so I will not contest, Divya Rane will contest instead. Congress will contest the seat, but we will defeat them,” Fadnavis said.

Pratapsingh Rane, a 10-term legislator, is Goa’s longest serving MLA. He also holds a record for having served as chief minister of the state for a little less than 16 years across six terms between 1980 and 2007. He was the assembly speaker between 2007 and 2012. He has 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 also stayed firmly with the Congress for decades.

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

His decision to contest prompted outrage from his son and BJP legislator Vishwajit Rane, who quite unkindly suggested his father should retire.

Pratapsingh was subsequently announced as the Congress’ official candidate from Poriem.

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

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