‘Retire or will be messy’: Goa BJP’s Vishwajit Rane’s harsh advice to his father
Goa elections 2022: Goa BJP leader Vishwajit Rane said he will contest from the Poriem seat that his father and veteran Congress leader Pratapsingh Rane represents in the assembly.
PANAJI: Upset that veteran Congress leader Pratapsingh Rane might contest next year’s Goa elections, his son and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vishwajit Rane on Tuesday went public with his advice to his father, Pratapsingh Rane, to quit politics. If Pratapsingh doesn’t take his advice, Vishwajit added, he will contest against him and warned that it will ‘be very messy’.
“At 83, why does he have to continue in politics? One should gracefully retire after becoming a chief minister for more than nine terms,” said Goa health minister Vishwajit Rane on Tuesday, hours after his father declared his intention to contest the state elections early next year.
Then came the warning. “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.
Pratapsingh Rane, the Goa Congress’s most prominent face, is the state’s longest serving MLA; he has won 10 assembly elections since 1972. Pratapsingh 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.
Vishwajit, who has represented Valpoi assembly seat since 2007, has been mostly in the Congress but joined the BJP in 2017 after elections and helped Manohar Parrikar become chief minister. A BJP leader said Vishwajit hoped to get a BJP ticket for his nominee from the neighbouring Poriem seat that his father represents. Both seats are along the forested eastern border with Karnataka and are considered the Rane family’s pocketborough.
Vishwajit Rane’s harsh advice to Goa’s seniormost politician came after Pratapsingh announced his decision to contest the polls on a Congress ticket.
“My workers have taken this decision (to contest). They have said that I should contest the elections. Let us see what people say. Party leadership will eventually decide whether I should contest or not,” Pratapsingh.said.
Pratapsingh’s name didn’t figure in the Congress first list of eight candidates leading to speculation that he might finally call it quits after a nearly 50-year association in politics.
Tuesday’s announcement appeared to have upset his son’s calculation.
“I had requested him. We had discussed this. But I feel that Congress central leaders and state leaders are pressuring him, which is why he made the statement,” Vishwajit told reporters.
Several hours after his outburst, Vishwajit Rane attempted a damage control. “Shri Pratapsingh Raoji Rane is my father and we shall sort this issue amicably. Although I have decided to contest from Poriem constituency, we will resolve this internally within the family,” he said on Twitter.