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Chella Kumar to visit Goa to resolve ‘London remark’ issue

PANAJI: All India Congress Committee secretary in-charge of Goa desk Chella Kumar is likely to come down to Goa to resolve the ongoing crisis between the party organisation and senior Congress leader and Poriem MLA Pratapsingh Rane on ‘London remark’ issue.

“I am pursuing the matter and I am well aware of what is currently going on in Goa. I am in constant touch with local leaders and have also spoken to Rane on three-four occasions,” said Kumar speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’ over the phone. He claimed that Rane has justified his comments by stating that he has been quoted out of context on the issue.

The party organisation has reacted strongly against Rane demanding action by the party high command after they were criticised vehemently by Goans living abroad following the statement made by Rane during the recently-concluded monsoon session of the assembly wherein it has been alleged that he had said “Goans who work in London do toilet cleaning jobs.”

“Rane told me that he wanted to emphasise on the government over the unemployment issue prevailing in the state and his comment has been perceived in a negative way by some. I have urged him to give an explanation despite the fact that his intention was not wrong,” Kumar said.

Kumar, however, said that Rane feels there is no need for him to apologise and that the people who claim that they were hurt by his statement may not understand his side of the story.

He informed that he would be visiting Goa in the next week with an intention to resolve the issue including winning back the hearts of Goans, who might have been hurt and pained by Rane’s statement besides reviewing other aspects of the party organisation.

Meanwhile, the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee on Saturday united to revolt against Rane for his ‘London remark’ and demanded with party high command to initiate action against him if he fails to apologise to Goans.

“Looking at the seriousness of the issue, we demand party high command intervene and advise Rane to apologise to Goans or else take necessary action against him,” said Amarnath Panjikar.

Panjikar said that Goans had to go abroad to earn their livelihood for their families and provide education to their children in a dignified way. “There was nothing wrong in cleaning toilets to earn for family,” he said.

The party leaders said that they were being severely criticised on social media by Goans living abroad particularly in London due to Rane’s comment, which has caused deep pain and hurt to the Goans abroad and also their relations in Goa.

North Goa district president of the Congress party Vijai Bhike said: “We will write to the party high command demanding appropriate action against Rane. If required, we will personally visit Delhi to meet our central leaders.”

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