PANAJI: Breaking his silence and refuting the allegations levelled against him by Goans abroad and also his own party men on ‘London remark’, Pratapsingh Rane, senior Congress leader and Poriem MLA, on Saturday said that he has said nothing derogatory about Goans and dubbed the outburst against him as an attempt to malign his image.
“This is wrong, they are trying to malign me for no reason, I have not said anything derogatory against Goans or anyone. I meant to say that Goans irrespective of where they work they should have better quality jobs and I deny having said what they are attributing to me,” said Rane while speaking to ‘The Navhind Times.’Rane is being severely criticised on social media by the people living abroad and also by his own party organisation including state party president Girish Chodankar. It has been alleged that during the recently-concluded monsoon session of the assembly Rane had said ‘Goans who work in London do toilet cleaning jobs.’
Reacting to the demand of the party organisation asking the party high command to take action against him if he fails to apologise, Rane said, “What action they want and for what reason? I have not committed a murder or any such crime. I feel that they want to create excitement… I don’t know,” he said.
When questioned what could be the possible reason that he is being targeted by his own party whereas BJP, on the other hand, stayed away from the controversy, Rane said, “I don’t have anything to say… well it will soon be 50 years for me in political life, what more should I say. Who are these people in the party talking today?”
He said that being an elected representative, it was his duty to highlight issues of the people in the assembly including unemployment scenario in the state due to the ongoing mining crisis. “All governments who have ruled the state have created employment opportunities for our youth. Lot of people are dependent on mining directly and indirectly. I was highlighting the plight of the people due to the closure of mining and we all know mining has been one of the major factors in improving the standard of living of Goans across the state,” he said.
Rane further said that he would continue to act responsibly as legislator and continue to work for the people. He said if people in the party feel that he has violated any norms then they can approach him for clarifications. “So far nobody has approached me with any grievance. I don’t know what is in their mind. I feel BJP will have the last laugh and I don’t want to say anything more,” he said.