BJP should confer honorary cabinet status to Advani: Goa Cong



Photo: IANS

Instead of 'honoring' veteran Congress leaders ahead of the state Assembly elections with dubious "life-long" cabinet status, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should honour its own veteran leaders like L.K. Advani, who has been banished to the sidelines, says Goa Congress President Girish Chodankar.

Chodankar's comment comes days after former Chief Minister and sitting Congress MLA, Pratapsingh Rane was conferred with a "life-long" cabinet status by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

Rane, 82, is yet to accept or deny the decision taken by the Goa cabinet on Thursday.

"There is a senior leader in our country. A big leader whom everyone respects -- L.K. Advani, perhaps the BJP has forgotten him. We want to remind the BJP leaders that first you confer the status to L.K. Advani, which you have conferred on Rane. Advani, who built the BJP, has been pushed to a corner. You do not respect your leaders, but you want to respect our leaders?" Chodankar told the media on Friday.

The controversial decision by the BJP-led coalition government has been taken ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls.

Sawant said that the honour was in view of the fact that Rane has completed 50 years as an MLA from the Poriem Assembly constituency without losing a single Assembly election.

Pratapsingh Rane's son, Vishwajit is currently the Health Minister in the BJP-led coalition government.

The Goa Congress President, however, claims Sawant conferred the honorary status on Pratapsingh Rane because the ruling party was likely to lose the Poriem Assembly seat, if the veteran leader chooses to contest it in the upcoming elections.

"They (BJP) are afraid because if Pratapsingh Rane contests, then he will win and BJP will lose one seat. They are afraid of losing even one seat. They are afraid of the Congress. They did this out of fear," Chodankar said.

"It is like offering chocolate to a small child. They think Pratapsingh Rane is a small boy. He will not fall for such tricks. He has seen it all. If Pramod Sawant wanted he should have said he (Rane) would be made CM, why did he not say that?" he added.-IANS

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