With the first list, TMC plays the “politics of revenge”, targets Congress and GFP
Panji: The Trinamool Congress (TMC), which arrived late in the electoral race in Goa, published its first list of candidates on 18 January. Among the 11 hastily announced names, that of the new MP Rajya Sabha of the TMC, Luizinho Faleiro, stands out. One of the candidates arrived on the list less than an hour after resigning from his local party.
Faleiro is set to face Goa Forward Party (GFP) leader Vijai Sardesai of Fatorda constituency.
The GFP – which won three seats in 2017 – was among the first regional parties to be approached by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for a pre-election merger or rapprochement. Both were refused. Sardesai is now in an alliance with Congress, which has so far given him three seats.
TMC’s recovery strategy: to destabilize Sardesai and pit Faleiro against a contest he doesn’t fancy – he told this reporter he wouldn’t run for local office after becoming a deputy.
The TMC MP did not respond to calls, nor did the party’s Goa Elections Officer, Mahua Moitra.
Calling TMC’s move a deliberate ploy to try to bring it down after rejecting their advances, Sardesai said Thread he refused “to be taken at gunpoint by a Bengali party. Their program has been revealed. They are here only to split the non-BJP vote.
Shortly after Faleiro’s candidacy was announced, the GFP leader received a message from TMC’s polling consultant, Prashant Kishor, who led the party’s Goa strategy.
Kishor had visited Sardesai not once, but three times, the message said. “You still chose Congress, a party that gave you nothing. You have made your choices, we are reacting to them,” he added.
Waging an aggressive and costly poster and media campaign, TMC learns that deep pockets and paid information are not enough to buy local acceptance, especially in a small state like Goa, which is wary of “outsiders” who take decisions in politics, government and state policy. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) faced similar hostility in 2017 when it contested 39 of 40 seats and gave up a blank.
Some promising candidates – the most notable of them are former congressmen Reginaldo Lourenco, former member of the MGP Lavoo Mamledar, former independent deputy Prasad Gaonkar – who proposed to join the TMC or had joined the party, abandoned ship.
After a month, Lourenço withdrew from the party, saying he faced “a backlash from people” who wanted him back in Congress. The call didn’t cut much ice with Congress, however, which denied him a ticket. He will now compete as an independent from the Curtorim constituency.
TMC’s “lavish and aggressive campaigning” and poaching of MPs has been criticized not only by Congress, which has refused its recent alliance overtures, but also by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has lost its long-time ally. dates Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) to a rapprochement of convenience with Banerjee’s party.
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said on Thursday (January 20th) that Goa had rejected TMC’s “way of politics”. “The aggressiveness they showed and the way they came with suitcases as if the rulers of Goa were for sale in the market cannot inspire confidence in the people.”
Given past history, the MGP could go either way if no party wins a majority.
In a recent interview with PTI, Congress Leader P. Chidambaram claimed that neither the AAP nor the TMC had a cadre base in the constituencies. “They tried to build their parties through defections from other parties, especially from Congress.”
With time running out and a strategy designed to disrupt, mostly in seats where Congress has a strong presence, TMC could end up weakening the fight against the BJP far more than the AAP, which may be trying its luck in the 40 seats, giving the Saffron Party a chance to recover from strong anti-incumbent sentiment in Goa. Most of Goa’s 40 constituencies have less than 30,000 voters. A thousand votes can make or break a winning candidate.
In a fierce competition over the secular vote, the last-minute arrival of the Nationalist Congress Party-Shiv Sena combination is giving rebels from all corners a chance to dive into the mix.