Top Goa Congress Leader, Facing Daughter-In-Law, Withdraws From Contest

Goa Polls: The former Chief Minister was named by the Congress as its candidate from Poriem in December. Last week, the BJP declared that his daughter-in-law Deviya Vishwajeet Rane would contest from the seat.

Top Goa Congress Leader, Facing Daughter-In-Law, Withdraws From Contest

Pratapsinh Rane, 87, claimed he is stepping back because of his age, "not family pressure". (File)

Goa:

In a setback to the Congress ahead of the Goa election, one of its top candidates, Pratapsinh Rane, has decided to withdraw from the contest, which would have pitted him against his daughter-in-law.

Pratapsinh Rane, 87, claimed he is stepping back because of his age, "not family pressure".

The former Chief Minister was named by the Congress as its candidate from Poriem in December. Last week, the BJP declared that his daughter-in-law Deviya Vishwajeet Rane would contest from the seat.

Poriem is the stronghold of Mr Rane, an 11-time MLA who has never lost an election in this constituency.

Mr Rane is the longest serving chief minister of Goa. His son Vishwajeet Rane is a minister in the Goa BJP government.

Rane junior, who was also in the Congress, had crossed over to the BJP after the 2017 national elections.

Earlier, Pratapsinh Rane had denied that he would pull out of the election. "If the party has declared my name as the candidate then the question of me not contesting does not arise," he had said.

He had on Saturday also attended a Congress meeting for candidates at a hotel in Panaji.

His decision will be a huge blow to the Congress, which has held the Poriem seat for 45 years.

Congress leader P Chidambaram had said: "That seat (Poriem) has been identified with Mr Pratapsingh Rane for nearly 50 years now. As far as we are concerned, we have announced him as a candidate and we have told him, you contest the election or you suggest a name which can be forwarded to the (leadership)."

There were reports earlier that the BJP would set up a father-son fight in Poriem by fielding Vishwajeet Rane against his father. But the party decided to field Vishwajeet Rane from neighbouring Valpoi instead, naming his wife Deviya, a doctor, for Poriem.

Pratapsinh Rane has denied that he had approached the BJP with an offer to help if his daughter-in-law was given a ticket.

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