Trinamool Congress likely to formally announce entry into Goa on Monday

The TMC’s entry into Goa’s political space is likely to further splinter an already crowded political space in Goa. Besides the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress, the Goa Forward Party with three MLA, the NCP and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) with one MLA each are also vying for a slice of power.
This will be the second time the TMC enters Goa having unsuccessfully contested the 2012 assembly elections, under the leadership of Dr Wilfred de Souza, a former Chief Minister. The party also unsuccessfully contested one of Goa’s two Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 polls. (AP PHOTO.)
This will be the second time the TMC enters Goa having unsuccessfully contested the 2012 assembly elections, under the leadership of Dr Wilfred de Souza, a former Chief Minister. The party also unsuccessfully contested one of Goa’s two Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 polls. (AP PHOTO.)
Published on Sep 26, 2021 10:45 PM IST
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ByGerard de Souza

The re-entry of the Trinamool Congress into Goa’s political landscape is likely to be formally announced on Monday with former Goa Chief Minister and former Goa Congress President Luizinho Faleiro scheduling a press meet “to make an important announcement”.

Faleiro, who has been heavily linked with a move to lead a breakaway group of Congressmen, had earlier remained tight-lipped on his political plans only revealing that he had met members of the Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC) led by political strategist Prashant Kishor as part of their regular surveys in Goa.

Faleiro, it is understood, is upset with the decision of the Congress high command to stick with the incumbent state Congress president Girish Chodankar, who succeeded him back in 2017.

Late last week, Congress members loyal to Faleiro, as if on cue, addressed the media to say that their leader was treated shabbily by the Congress party.

“In 2017 we came to a figure of 17 under Luizinho’s leadership plus one independent. On the night of the counting we had 21 MLAs with us. A letter was made ready to be given to the Governor to stake claim to form the government. Digvijay Singh who was in-charge stopped the letter from being given to the Governor. He wanted at least 24. Digvijay and Chella Kumar stopped Luizinho from giving the letter. All these repeated insults, humiliation must be working on him. I do not know what his decision is. Evidently, he is not happy with what is happening in the Congress,” Agnelo Fernandes, a former MLA and Faleiro loyalist said.

He went on to allege that the Congress was manipulated by one or two people.

“Loyalists are being side-lined. This might lead to a revolt. Anything can happen. If leaders like this are on the side-lines, for how long can you take this humiliation? People of Goa had given a mandate when Luizinho was president of the party. Those people who demanded his resignation in 24 hours have quit the Congress and joined the BJP,” Fernandes added.

Similarly, Surendra Furtado, a former mayor of Panaji too alleged that the Congress was being controlled by a close group of a few people and loyalists were being side-lined.

The TMC’s entry into Goa’s political space is likely to further splinter an already crowded political space in Goa. Besides the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress, the Goa Forward Party with three MLA, the NCP and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) with one MLA each are also vying for a slice of power.

Besides the MGP, which competes with the BJP for largely the same set of voters, the other political parties are likely to vie for what has traditionally been the Congress vote share.

Added to the mix is the Aam Aadmi Party, the Shiv Sena, Goencho Avaaz, a group of civil society activists who have announced plans to contest the upcoming polls, the Revolutionary Goans, a group of youthful activists seeking Goa be reserved for Goans have also announced plans to contest the upcoming polls.

Trinamool MLA Derek O’Brien was in Goa over the weekend and announced that the party was “very serious” about contesting the upcoming polls in Goa but didn’t divulge any detailed plans.

This will be the second time the TMC enters Goa having unsuccessfully contested the 2012 assembly elections, under the leadership of Dr Wilfred de Souza, a former Chief Minister. The party also unsuccessfully contested one of Goa’s two Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 polls.

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Saturday, June 25, 2022