Congressman’s Pratap Singh Rane steps down after BJP sends daughter-in-law

Ahead of the Goa elections, in a major setback for the Congress, its eldest candidate, Pratap Singh Rane, withdrew his candidacy from the Poriem Assembly constituency due to his advanced age. The former chief minister was pitted against his daughter-in-law Divya Rane, candidate of Poriem’s ​​Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

According to sources at Republic Media Network, the decision is in favor of Divya Rane. However, Pratap Singh said he withdrew his candidacy due to his advanced age and not due to any other pressure.

The Congress stalwart has represented Poriem since 1972 and has never lost an election. He was Chief Minister of Goa six times from 1980 to 1985, 1985 to 1989, 1990 (for three months), 1996 to 1999, 2005 (one month) and finally in 2005-07. He has been a provincial deputy for more than 50 years. Earlier this month, the BJP government led by CM Pramod Sawant granted him life cabinet status.

Meanwhile, the son of Pratap Singh and Goa Minister Vishwajeet Rane has been announced as the BJP candidate from Valpoi headquarters. He had moved from Congress to the BJP after the 2017 elections.

Hit hard by defections, Congress forces its candidates in Goa to take an oath of party loyalty before God

The Congress, which has been hardest hit by defections in Goa, took its 34 candidates to a temple, church and dargah on Saturday and made them swear to God that they would not switch parties if they were elected. Since the last polls, most Congress lawmakers have resigned in Goa. The big old party, which emerged as a single party in the 2017 legislative elections by winning 17 seats, has only two MPs left in the House.

Elections in Goa will be held in a single phase on February 14. The electoral battle in the state has become multifaceted with the entry of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Trinamool Congress. So far, polls have been forged between Congress and the GFP, and between the regional MGP and the TMC. The Shiv Sena and the NCP are contesting the polls together.

Image: Twitter/@DrPramodPSawant