Rane consolidating base ahead of Goa polls

Last Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 15:24

Panaji: Veteran Congressman and Goa
Assembly Speaker Pratapsinh Rane is subtly being promoted as the chief ministerial candidate by the Congress-NCP combine in the run-up to the March 3 Assembly polls.

In an apparent indication to this, Rane replaced
Catholic leader from South Goa Mauvin Godinho as the campaign
incharge for the elections.

Rane`s emergence on the poll scene is attributed to
his role as a Speaker cum trouble-shooter for the Kamat
government which has suffered many setbacks in the last five
years since it assumed office.

Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) president Deepak
Dhavlikar, a former ally of Congress, even accused the veteran
politician of trying to hand-twist them to stay within the
coalition by "keeping the sword of disqualification dangling
on their neck".

A petition regarding disqualification of MGP MLAs
Sudin Dhavalikar and Deepak Dhavalikar is pending before the
Speaker.

The 73-year-old war horse has served as state chief
minister fo six times. Rane stepped down in 2007 owing to
internecine conflicts in the Congress which had won hands
down.

In an indication to the enormous clout Rane family wields in state politics, Rane`s son and minister Vishwajeet got eight tickets allotted to his favourites for 2012 elections.
"Vishwajit Rane has managed to get a larger share in
the congress ticket allotment which means he will surely try
to play a major role if his supporters are elected," Goa BJP
spokesman Vishnu Wagh said.

Political observers claim that the differences between
Rane junior and Kamat began surfacing much before the election
dates were announced.

A case in point is Kamat assuring agitating employees
of Malaria eradication department of getting them justice in
securing their jobs in the Health department headed by Vishwajeet Rane. However, Rane refused to pay heed to Kamat`s requests.

Alienating Kamat further, Congress poll managers have
restricted his movements to his constituency. Moreover, the
supporters of the chief minister were also denied tickets to
contest polls.

In a major embarrassment for Kamat, the party refused to allot ticket to Vijay sardesai backed by him from Fatorda
constituency.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 12:11

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