Goa BJP leader Vishwajit Rane set to contest polls against father (Photo: Vishwajit Rane/Twitter)
Panaji: As the Goa Assembly elections draw near, BJP Minister Vishwajit Rane appears to be poised for a face-off against his father and Congress leader Pratapsingh Rane. Soon after the former Chief Minister announced that he would be contesting the 2022 state Assembly polls from his traditional bastion of Poriem, his son set the stage for a contest between the two. He also publicly urged his father to “retire gracefully” from politics and refrain from contesting the upcoming polls.
Rane Sr had said earlier that his workers had taken the decision to contest from Poriem, noting that a final decision would be taken by the party leadership. Vishwajit Rane however cautioned that it would be a “very messy thing” if his father contested the elections. He also asserted that he would win such a contest by a margin of nearly 10,000 votes on a BJP ticket.
“My father will also have to think. At 83, why does he have to continue in politics? One should gracefully retire after becoming a CM for more than nine terms. A person who is my idol and someone I have so much respect for… that person should gracefully retire, not retire on the battlefield. It will be a very messy thing,” Vishwajit was quoted as saying.
The BJP MLA who presently serves as the state’s health minister said that a “decision should be made according to age” and that it was not “appropriate” for his father to contest. Contending that there was now a “generational shift”, the lawmaker said that state, and central Congress leaders and some “selfish persons” were pressuring his father to contest. He also claimed that Congress had been decimated in the Poriem constituency.
“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,” the BJP minister assured on Tuesday evening.
Vishwajit Rane had been elected on a Congress ticket during the 2017 polls. Later that year, he had quit the party to join the Congress. His father Pratapsingh Rane has served as the Chief Minister of Goa six times. While he has been a member of the Congress for several decades, Rane Sr. had previously been a prominent figure in the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.