Health Minister Vishwajit Rane tells Soiru Velip that this time he is getting much more support than during the previous elections, exuding confidence of landslide victory in the Valpoi by-poll
Q: You are going to the voters of Valpoi for the second time within six months. What has been the response from the people? Now, as a BJP candidate, are you facing any difficulty in wooing the voters?
The people of Valpoi and Usgao know me personally and are aware of the development that I have carried out as a minister. In fact, I am gladdened by the overwhelming response from the people during door-to-door canvassing and corner meetings. As far as the BJP is concerned, the people of Sattari are fully convinced that only the BJP government under the leadership of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar can bring about development and give jobs to them. I am absolutely not facing any difficulty as a BJP candidate. On the contrary, this time I am getting much more support than during the previous elections.
Q: There are reports which say that ‘original’ BJP workers have not been fully involved in your campaigning. Is it true?
No, it’s not true. It is a false propaganda spread by my opponents. In fact, they (Opposition) neither have any issue nor any agenda for the by-poll… my supporters and ‘original’ BJP workers are working together in the campaign.
Q: How do you look at the Congress candidate? Do you see any challenges in the by-election?
To be frank, I have no objection to the Opposition candidate. But the fact is that neither the people of Valpoi know the Congress candidate nor he knows them. The Congress candidate does not have his own identity. People only know him as a son of Ravi Naik, who failed to bring about development in Usgao when it was part of the Ponda constituency. There are no Congress workers in the constituency since I joined the BJP. This has been more evident after the Congress named a person as block president in Valpoi who was the AAP candidate during the last assembly elections. I don’t see any kind of challenges. I can tell you that the BJP will win both Valpoi and Panaji seats with a thumping majority.
Q: What are your priorities for the by-poll?
Development and employment are our priorities… people firmly believe that development and employment can be brought about by me and the BJP government under the leadership of Manohar Parrikar.
Q: Your father Pratapsing Rane is a senior politician, a former chief minister and a Congress veteran; but now you are in the BJP. Your comment
He is my father and his blessings are always with me. For him, family comes first, and not the party.
Q: What will be the fate of the Congress in the Poriem constituency as you are now in the BJP?
This will be the last term of my father Pratapsing
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Rane as a Poriem MLA. My father is not going to contest the election again. Actually, he was not interested in contesting the assembly polls, but I coaxed him. There will be no Congress in Sattari taluka in future. Both Valpoi and Poriem will be ruled by me.
Q: You say that you will win the by-poll with a thumping majority. What will be your winning margin?
The winning margin will be bigger than the one I got during the last elections. And I can say this confidently factoring in the overwhelming response and support I am receiving everywhere.