Goa assembly elections: Setback for Congress as Luizinho Faleiro quits party to join TMC, calls Mamata a ‘street-fighter’

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Updated: September 27, 2021 1:37 PM

Luizinho Faleiro, a seven-time Congress MLA and two-time Goa Chief Minister, resigned as he called TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee a "street-fighter".

Luizinho Faleiro, a seven-time Congress MLA and two-time Goa Chief Minister, resigned as he called TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee a "street-fighter".

The Congress suffered a major setback ahead of the assembly polls in Goa after its veteran leader Luizinho Faleiro quit the party to join the Trinamool Congress. Faleiro, a seven-time Congress MLA and two-time Goa Chief Minister, resigned as he called TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee a “street-fighter”.

“Goa is going through difficult times and it needs such fighters, which are also in the same wavelength, same party ideology, policies, principles and programs. I am a Congressman, and I would like in the larger picture for all the Congress parties to come together and fight the next Parliament elections,” Faleiro said.

The Congress veteran added that he suffered in dignified silence in Congress. He tendered his resignation from his seat in the House. He was the MLA from south Goa’s Navelim.

The TMC has already announced its plans to contest the next year’s Goa Assembly elections. According to The Indian Express, Banerjee’s party is aiming to contest all 40 seats in the state.

TMC leader Derek O’Brien told PTI on Saturday in Goa that the party will be contesting the upcoming Assembly polls and they were in touch with several local leaders. He had said that the TMC will announce its chief ministerial candidate soon.

Reacting to the TMC’s announcement to contest the polls, the Congress on Sunday issued a statement saying Goans have full faith in the Congress “which has respected the sentiments and emotions of the people”.

“Goans will never fall prey for political gambles and gimmicks and will never compromise on Goa’s identity,” said the statement signed by Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Girish Chodankar and Congress Legislative Party president Digambar Kamat.

Faleiro was credited with devising strategies and stitching alliances that led to the formation of governments in Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. In 2013, he was chairman of the Karnataka Pradesh Assembly Elections Screening Committee.

In the 2017 Assembly elections in Goa, Congress won the highest 17 seats in the 40-member House restricting the BJP to 13. However, surprising the Congress, the saffron party allied with regional parties and formed government under the leadership of senior leader Manohar Parrikar.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has already thrown its hat in the ring ahead of the polls, with the party’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announcing free power up to 300 units per month and 80 per cent jobs for locals if his party is voted to power during his recent visit to Panaji.

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