The Congress on Monday said former MLA Vishwajit Rane, who quit the Congress to join the BJP last week, is criticising party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP National President Amit Shah. All India Congress Committee Secretary Girish Chodankar told reporters at a press conference in Panaji that Rane had embarrassed the Congress, by first going missing during the assembly floor test in March and then quitting the party on the same day.
“He (Rane) is no longer with us. He is now with the BJP and singing the tunes of Modi and Shah. His comments cannot be taken seriously,” Chodankar said.
Rane has called Gandhi a “non-serious” and an inaccessible leader, whose leadership would reduce the Congress to 20 seats in the 2019 general election.
“The Congress has a non-serious leader called Rahul Gandhi. He is not serious about the people of the state who give you a mandate, not serious about government formation. He is not even accessible. Seriousness of a leader is very important for a party to grow,” Rane, son of former Goa Chief Minister and sitting legislator Pratapsinh Rane, said in an interview to IANS.
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“If this is the nature in which you want to take the party forward, then I am confident in 2019 from 44 they will be reduced to 20,” Rane said.
Rane was present at a party meeting organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to felicitate Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Shah in Panaji.
After criticising the Congress leadership for not doing enough to seize power in Goa, despite emerging as the single largest party in the February 4 polls, Rane had gone missing during the subsequent floor test on March 16 and resigned from the Congress on the same day.
Chodankar said the party would think of putting a ban on Rane’s re-entry into the Congress for a period of six years because of the “embarrassment caused to the party”.