Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that it was other political parties that had fueled talk of tiffs between him and health minister Vishwajit Rane and told BJP workers that there were none. Addressing party workers in Rane’s assembly constituency of Valpoi, Sawant said, “Some political parties repeatedly keep saying that there are fights between me and Vishwajit. It is they who say it. There are no fights between me and Vishwajit. We are one.”
Sawant’s statement came in the presence of BJP National President J P Nadda and the party’s state president Sadanand Tanavade.
The differences between Sawant and Rane had become conspicuous at the onset of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in April. The two had made conflicting statements regarding steps to be taken to tackle the pandemic. In May, Rane had also said that there needs to be a High Court monitored inquiry into the dip in oxygen supply to Covid-19 patients in the Goa Medical College and Hospital. He had later said, that the deaths of Covid-19 patients could not be linked to the shortage of oxygen supply. The GMC’s oxygen cylinder driven supply system was, however, replaced with a Liquid Medical Oxygen tank to resolve issues related to the supply of oxygen.
In the following months, however, both Sawant and Rane went the extra mile to quell talk of their ‘differences’ often acknowledging and appreciating each other in public meetings.
Nadda also commended Rane for his work as health minister. In what appeared to be an endorsement, Nadda also told party workers that Rane had performed very well as health minister and he would continue his good work in the future as well. “If this is going to be your representative, then no one can stop you from winning,” Nadda told party workers in the Valpoi constituency.
The BJP has not yet declared its election candidates for the upcoming legislative assembly polls slated for February, 2022.
Rane, in turn, assured party leaders that the BJP would win both the assembly seats in the Sattari taluka – Valpoi and Poriem – and he and his party aides would work to secure the win the for the BJP.
An emotional Rane, thanked party workers for the respect they had given him and also said that he had learnt the political ropes from his father Pratapsingh Rane, former chief minister and incumbent Congress MLA from the neighbouring Poriem assembly constituency. “Saheb (Pratapsingh Rane) has strived for the poor and it is with his blessings that I am in BJP today,” Rane said.