On this auspicious day, Goa rejoices in honoring the distinguished political veteran, Pratapsingh Raoji Rane, as he marks his 85th birthday. A luminary in Indian politics, Rane’s illustrious career spans over five decades, making him a prominent figure in the socio-political landscape of Goa.
Born on January 28, 1939, Rane hails from the influential Rane clan, a prominent Maratha caste that played a significant role in shaping the political fabric of Sattari. Educated at Shri Shivaji Preparatory Military School in Pune, he further pursued a Bachelor in Business Administration in the United States, laying the foundation for a life dedicated to public service.
Rane’s political journey began in the mid-1970s when he joined the Indian National Congress. Before that, he had been a key figure in the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, where he served as the Minister for Law and held other portfolios.
His leadership in the 1980s and part of the 1990s was marked by transformative initiatives. Rane played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Kadamba Transport Corporation, a government-run bus transport system, connecting various parts of Goa. He spearheaded the foundation of schools and colleges in rural areas, contributing to the educational development of the region.
As Chief Minister, Rane’s tenure witnessed the establishment of Goa University and the construction of an extensive road network connecting villages and towns. He championed the cause of industrialization by initiating several Industrial Estates and Industrial Training Institutes. Moreover, he actively contributed to irrigation projects, emphasizing the importance of water resources in agricultural development.
A founding member of the International Centre Goa and the Goa Institute of Management, Rane’s commitment to education and cultural institutions has left an indelible mark on the state.
However, his political journey has not been without challenges. Dissent within the Congress party during the 1980s and later criticism for alleged corruption during his tenures posed obstacles. Despite facing political turbulence, Rane continued to serve Goa with dedication.
In recent times, Rane has faced accusations, including allegations of impropriety related to environmental clearances for mining projects. These incidents have added complexity to his otherwise illustrious career.
As Pratapsingh Rane celebrates his 85th birthday, Goa reflects on the enduring legacy of a leader who has been a steadfast pillar in its political history. While controversies may have marked certain chapters, Rane’s contributions to Goa’s development and his unwavering commitment to public service remain undeniable.
The government, led by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, has recognized Rane’s enduring contributions by conferring upon him the status of lifelong cabinet member in 2022. As the state celebrates the life and achievements of this political stalwart, Pratapsingh Rane stands as a symbol of resilience, leadership, and unwavering commitment to the people of Goa.