Still smarting from party leader Vishwajit Rane’s high-profile cross over to the BJP, the Congress today said it is of the view that he should never be allowed back in the party fold in future. However, unfazed by his criticism by the Congress, the former Valpoi MLA has ruled out the possibility of his return to the Congress. “Congress should ban re-entry of Vishwajit Rane who not only betrayed the party but also the voters in Valpoi. The party will soon take a decision on banning his re-entry to the party,” All India Congress Committee (AICC) Secretary Girish Chodankar told reporters here.
Chodankar said that Rane, who got elected as an MLA on the Congress ticket, ditched the party on the floor of the Legislative Assembly by helping the BJP leader Manohar Parrikar form the government.
Rane is the son of the Congress veteran and former chief minister Pratapsinh Rane.
He was referring to Rane abstaining from voting during the crucial trust vote in the House on March 16, which brought down the Congress’ tally to 16 in the 40-member Assembly.
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Parrikar eventually proved the majority with the support of three MLAs each of the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP), the Goa Forward Party (GFP), and three Independents, besides 13 MLAs of the saffron party.
Rane had resigned from the Congress on the same day.
Chodankar said, “Rane’s behaviour is highly unprofessional. Congress is all set to defeat him during the upcoming by-poll in Valpoi constituency.”
When asked to respond to Chodankar’s remarks, Rane said that the Congress party is on decline across the country due to “unsuccessful and inefficient” leaders like him (Chodankar).
“Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi should ban leaders like Chodankar who does not have the capability even to win panchayat elections. Chodankar is fit to be outside Rahul Gandhi’s office,” he said, adding that he is a loyal worker of the BJP and would work for its growth in the state.