Goa Health Vishwajit Rane today his father, Congress veteran and former chief minister Pratapsinh Rane, will not contest elections in the future. Pratapsinh Rane, the 78-year-old sitting Congress MLA from Poriem constituency, has the distinction of being the longest serving chief minister of the state. He completed 50 years in politics this year. "My father is not going to contest elections again. This time too he did not want to contest but I forced him to do so," Vishwajit said, responding to questions at a press conference here. The father-son duo was elected as Congress MLAs in the Assembly polls held in February this year.
However, Vishwajit quit his Valpoi seat and the party, and joined the BJP. Vishwajit, who was later inducted into the BJP-led ministry, is now contesting the August 23 bypoll from Valpoi. The BJP leader said though his father belongs to the Congress, the main rival of the saffron outfit, he is not campaigning against him in Valpoi. The Congress has fielded Roy Naik, the son of former State home minister Ravi Naik, against Vishwajit. "His well wishes are with me during this election too," Vishwajit said. He claimed the Congress is virtually "non-existent" in Sattari taluka (which comprises Valpoi and Poriem Assembly constituencies). "Sattari is completely saffronised now. Support for the BJP is increasing," he said, adding all his supporters who were earlier in the Congress are now in the BJP.
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