After over 40 years with the party, former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro quit the Indian National Congress (INC) on Monday, 27 September, and is all set to join the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC).
The move comes as the Mamata Banerjee-led party has expressed its ‘seriousness’ about contesting legislative Assembly polls in Goa, scheduled for early 2022.
Shortly before his resignation as an MLA from south Goa’s Navelim, Faleiro commended Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, calling her the only "streetfighter" who can give the BJP a tough fight.
Faleiro added, “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 Writes to Sonia
In a letter to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, Faleiro blamed the "interference" by others that kept the Congress out of power in the state despite having a majority in the 2017 Assembly elections.
"Till now, there is none being held accountable for the loss of 13 of our MLAs, while the sidelining of true Congress workers continues. I see absolutely no hope or even the will to prevent the collapse of the party and change for the better," he said.
'Congress a Divided House'
Faleiro said that he suffered in dignified silence in Congress.
"I have resigned as an MLA to fulfill my dream to consolidate, strengthen and unify the Congress family at state and national levels. Congress doesn't belong to anybody. It's a movement started by the father of the nation," Faleiro said, as quoted by ANI, after tendering his resignation.
"Today, the Congress family has been divided, there is a Congress which belongs to Mamata, YSR, Sharad Pawar and Indira Gandhi. If one family is divided it becomes weak," he added.
Goa is due to vote next year, along with Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Punjab, among other states.
Former MGP MLA Lavoo Mamledar to Join TMC
Lavoo Mamledar, former Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLA from Goa, will join TMC on Tuesday, 28 September, he announced on Monday.
Sources in Trinamool Congress told The Quint that Mamledar and Faleiro are likely to be flown to Kolkata and inducted into the party in the capital city.
As per sources, Faleiro will be flying to Kolkata on Tuesday, ahead of his induction.
15 people from Goa, including politicians and members of the civil society, are expected to fly to Calcutta on Tuesday, 28 September. Yatish Naik, former Goa Congress Gen Secretary, Mario Pinto, former Goa Congress Secretary, and Vijai Pai, former Goa Congress General Secretary, are among those who will be flying to Calcutta. All three politicians are close to Faleiro and have resigned from Congress.