The Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Goa Forward Party (GFP), on Saturday, 27 January, got into a kerfuffle, blaming each other of helping the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as per an NDTV report. Saturday was the last day to file nominations for the upcoming Goa Assembly elections.
The two parties had earlier discussed an alliance that later fell through when former state Chief Minister and TMC leader Luizinho Faleiro was fielded against Vijay Sardesai from the GFP. Falerio later withdrew his candidature. However, TMC MP Mohua Mitra attacked Sardesai, saying that he had helped the BJP.
‘Trinamool Is Dividing Opposition Votes': GFP
The GFP attacked the TMC accusing it of dividing the Opposition votes by nominating Faleiro "without his knowledge,” and later nominating his relative after he withdrew. He is now a TMC Rajya Sabha MP from West Bengal.
Sardesai said, "The Faleiro episode has exposed the TMC's hand in Goa completely. First his nomination. He is a Rajya Sabha MP from Bengal, nominated for a seat in Goa against one of the most vocal opposition leaders. This was done without his consent and without his knowledge, by Bengali politicians sitting in Bengal.”
Sardesai added that the TMC's interest in Goa is not for the benefit of Goans, but instead a move to help the BJP come to power, particularly in the next general elections.
He added, “Then his silence and complete disappearance for three days expose the contempt with which the TMC treats a senior Goan politician. It took them three days to pacify him. But he stood his ground. He refused to toe the TMC line. Why? Because it would only end up splitting the non-BJP vote to benefit the BJP.”
Trinamool’s Retaliation: ‘See Through Game Plan of Other Parties’
Trinamool’s attack was based on Sardesai’s support for the BJP in 2017, when no single party had acquired the 21 seats needed to form the government.
While speaking to reporters, Mohua Mitra said that people have seen him join hands with the BJP once and cannot be fooled again. “He got elected... went and joined the BJP and for five years enjoyed the benefits of being with the BJP and he is coming and giving us all this garbage about being the secular vote?" she added.
Meanwhile, Faleiro asked the people of Fatorda to "bless the Trinamool candidate" and look through the game plan by other parties.
The Goa elections are scheduled for 14 February and counting will take place on 10 March.
(With inputs from NDTV.)