Panaji, July 28 (IANS) Goa former Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane on Friday said that he will not campaign against his son and current Health Minister in the BJP-led coalition government, Vishwajit Rane, in the upcoming assembly bypoll, dealing a setback to the Congress.
“Family is more important than politics,” Rane told IANS on the sidelines of the ongoing monsoon session of the Goa assembly.
“There are many instances in India where members of the same family have contested on different party tickets,” the former Speaker and Goa’s longest serving Congress legislator said.
His son Vishwajit won from the Valpoi assembly constituency earlier this year on a Congress ticket, but later switched over to the Bharatiya Janata Party and joined the coalition cabinet as Health Minister, resulting in by-election in Valpoi.
Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said the party respects Rane’s decision. “It is a personal matter. We do not want to force him to campaign,” Kavlekar said.
BJP spokesperson Michael Lobo said that the party was confident of victory, irrespective of whether Pratapsingh Rane campaigns or not.
“Vishwajit has a good connect with the people. Whether his father campaigns against him or not is irrespective,” Lobo said.
Goa will see two by-elections in August in Valpoi and in the Panaji assembly constituency, where Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar — who is still a Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh — is expected to contest from.