PANJIM:  If winning the Valpoi assembly by-poll was good then sweeping the municipal elections of both Valpoi and Bicholim councils came as an icing on the cake for Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane on Monday.
Speaking to reporters at his plush residence at Dona Paula, the minister who appeared confident and more than elated was more than eager to introduce his winning candidates to the media.
Rane was so confidence personified that answering a question on whether he will opt to contest in Bicholim in the next assembly elections he said he would defeat the reigning MLA Rajesh Patenkar by a huge margin, a la Valpoi style. If the party decides I should contest from Bicholim then so be it, he stated.
He said in terms of development the Bharatiya Janata Party hasn’t done much and this has come from the people. I believe Bicholim should be the centre point of development, but compared to Valpoi there is not much to see there, he asserted.
Rane observed the people of Bicholim have polarised towards the Congress. Opposition leader Manohar Parrikar campaigned for his candidate Dr Shekhar Salkar, but he lost. He has promised a lot of things but till date they have been deprived of sound infrastructure, he charged.
Riding on a wave of these wins, the minister now wants to enter BJP bastions of Mandrem and Siolim, where he says the Congress was confident of making inroads in the 2012 assembly polls.
However, the minister is yet to apply his mind on the issue of expansion of highways. “I am sure the Chief Minister Digambar Kamat will take an appropriate decision in the matter,” he stated.
Speaking on developments in Valpoi, he commented, “No expert can tell me an industrial estate was not good for the constituency. “If people want it then so be it. Also, it doesn’t mean because we fall in the range of Western Ghats there should be no developments,” he asserted. (HD)


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