As expected Deepaji Rane, a staunch BJP worker who had filed his nomination as an independent candidate for the Valpoi by-elections withdrew from the fray on Monday which was the last date for withdrawal thereby reducing the battle to a straight fight between the INC and BJP.
The Congress Party has fielded Vishwajit Rane, the Health Minister and son of Speaker Pratapsing Rane while the BJP has fielded Santosh Haldankar brother of former MLA and Deputy Speaker Narhari Haldankar.
Vishwajit Rane was elected to the Goa Legislative Assembly from Valpoi at the general elections as an independent candidate and was rewarded with a ministerial berth for extending his support to the Congress led group in the hung assembly that people threw up.
He resigned as a MLA and joined the Congress Party necessitating the by-elections. Incidentally, by nominating Vishwajit Rane as its candidate, the Congress in Goa at least, has broken its rule of not allocating party tickets to two members of the same family.