Goa being one of the tiniest states in the country this time will be having a big political battle with nearly a dozen of political parties including the national and regional arms trying to wrestle into the political arena of 2022. TMC is not the new player but they could not create any impact in the Goan politics since 2012, will they be able to open account this time?
The Existing Political Scenario in Goa
Goa Legislative Assembly Elections is going to be held in early 2022, political parties are preparing for a tough power struggle in the state. In addition to the ruling party, BJP, his longstanding opponent Congress, regional players like GFP and MGP, and now TMC is also entering the state politics with the aim to overthrow the Pramod Sawant-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state.
Formerly, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also declared the party will make a bid for power in Goa in early 2022 with the bold promises of free power, and 80 percent reservation of governmental and private jobs for local residents.
On Sep 29, Luizinho Faleiro and companions lauded to Kolkata, to join Trinamool Congress Party, one day after his resignation as MLA and leaving Congress.
“Today I am starting a journey with Didi because Goa needs a credible alternative. I request her to come to Goa to protect the identity and heritage of Goa’’ said Faleiro, after joining Trinamool Congress.
Formerly, he also lauded Mamata Banerjee’s ‘street fighter’, a symbol of women’s empowerment spirit and the one who Goa needs.
TMC Set Its Base in Goa
Before Falerios request of Banerjee for coming to Goa and saving its heritage and identity, the TMC MP Derek O’Brien landed in Goa on Sep 23 along with the Team members of I-PAC, run by Prashant Kishor, who have stationed in Goa and have been meeting MLAs, former MLAs, heads of religious groups, social activists and prominent citizens to get a sense of the political situation in the state.
Meanwhile, a section of Congress leaders called it ‘justified’ of Luizinho Faleiro, to join the TMC citing his dislike of what the Congress Situation is.
Faleiro Takes a Lead This Time
The seven-time MLA, Faleiro had an uninterrupted run in the Goa assembly between 1980 and 2002. Known as an influential Catholic leader from south Goa, he first won from Navelim in 1980 on a Congress ticket. In 1984, he kept the seat as an Independent. He registered victory from the same constituency in next four elections on a Congress ticket. Faleiro lost the elections in 2007 and 2012, though he wrested Navelim back in 2017.
On his address on Monday, Luizinho Faleiro said that he has suffered in the Congress and wants the suffering for Goans to end. “I suffered in dignified silence. If my suffering was so much, imagine the plight of Goans, who voted Congress to power. Let’s end this suffering and bring a new dawn in Goa,” he had said as hundreds gathered to listen to him in Navelim.
Seems that TMC hopes to open its account in the 2022 assembly election with the help of Faleiro, as he has a sizeable clout among the 22 percent Catholic voters spread all over south Goa.
Faleiro began his new innings with a blast. He managed to bring former MGP MLA Lavoo Mamledar, Congress general secretaries Vijay Pai and Yatish Naik and Secretary Mario Pinto as well as environment activist Rajendra Kakodkar, Konkani writer N. Shivdas and firebrand lawyer Antonio Clovis da Costa into the TMC fold.
Similarly boxing champion Lenny Da Gama and former Indian football defender Denzil Franco also have joined the Goa unit of the Trinamool Congress on Saturday.
What is TMC?
All India Trinamool Congress is a political party known as AITC or TMC. It was founded by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. TMC was recognised as a national party in 2016.
TMC has been trying to get a foothold in Goa since 2012 and contested 20 seats in 2012, but lost all. The same tried its luck in the 2014 Lok Sabha election too, with former CM Churchill Alemao as its face, but lost the election from South Goa constituency. The TMC then ceased to contest the 2017 assembly election.
The Old Connections
The former Chairperson of Margao Municipality Savio Coutinho , who had contested under TMC banner in 2012 in Margao constituency believes that this time presence of Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Goa and the party leader Mamata Banerjee will surely make big impact on the political scene of the State and differs from before.
Speaking to the media, Coutinho clarified that he has not joined the TMC, and explained the difference in the situation then and now. He informed that TMC had had no enough time for its campaign, and also had only candidates and no other leaders, except Dr Wilfred D’Souza, to campaign for the candidates.
“With limited campaign period and options, we had a tough time popularising the new symbol to the voter’s,” said Coutinho
“This time around, it is well ahead of time and has started off with leaders having a lot of political following. So also, Mamata has gained an ever higher stature in the recent years. And her presence in Goa could well make a big impact on the political scene of the State in the days to come, “ he further said.
Congress Downplaying the Exit of Faleiro
Currently, the Congress is downplaying the impact that Faleiro’s exit or a ‘new entrant’ such the TMC will have. “In 2017 (polls), the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to Goa. It was more in news that time compared to what Mamata is in the news today. But it is not as simple as that. The Congress had won 17 seats (in the 2017 Goa polls),” Dinesh Rao said
“Not many people have gone with him, few people have joined him. If you look at response on social media and from the party cadres, everyone is saying good riddance. Good for the party. That is the response we are getting,” he added
“It is actually a blessing that he has left. Because now all those who were being blocked by Faleiro will now have the space to grow in the party,” Congress president Girish Chodankar said to Hindustan Times
The political observers believe Faleiro will harm the Congress more than the ruling BJP. He will eat into the Congress vote base among the Catholics, helping the BJP indirectly. The Congress is already under pressure to join hands with the GFP to avoid a division in the non-BJP vote.