Explained: Why TMC’s Goa entry created a float in the state

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On World Tourism Day Tuesday, Goa’s Chief Minister Pramod Sawant took a shot at political parties from other states entering the electoral arena in Goa. “Political tourism is expected to pick up in Goa over the next six months. I hope the tourism industry will benefit as well. We welcome all kinds of tourism to the state, ”Sawant said.

His comments come at a time when the poll-linked state is a bubble with the political movement. The contest for the 40 seats in the Legislative Assembly, slated for early next year, appears to be crowded with several political and civil society groups intervening with alternatives to the ruling BJP.

Besides the BJP, Congress and regional actors like the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), the AAP and the TMC – parties led respectively by the chief ministers of Delhi and West Bengal – also threw their hats into the ring.

Goa Assembly Elections: Why has TMC’s decision to run caused a stir?

The TMC, which in 2012 failed to win a single seat in Goa, announced that this time it is it will be “very serious”. He has embedded Former CM Luizinho Faleiro of Goa, a 40-year congressional veteran.

The party, backed by political strategist Prashant Kishor’s I-PAC, is prepare for polls at a time when his victory in West Bengal has not faded from public memory.

The fact that Faleiro has resigned his post as MP for Navelim in South Goa, with only five months remaining in the term of the current Assembly, indicates that he may have had more ambitious plans with the TMC. While Faleiro is undecided on whether to challenge the polls in the assembly, he said he would “lead a movement” to bring a “new dawn” to the state.

I-PAC, which has been smelling the ground in Goa for about three months, may have picked up more than the scent of Faleiro, who is set to be inducted into the TMC in Kolkata on Wednesday with a dozen other local leaders. of Congress and other parties.

Sources said the TMC was also in talks with BJP and civil society leaders, and planned to challenge the state’s 40 seats.

How did Congress react to TMC’s entry into Goa’s electoral fray?

Congress, which had only four members of the Goa Assembly left after Faleiro resigned this week, said the TMC’s intention to contest the elections was unclear and appeared to be quite different from the approach of the TMC. left.

The head of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) Goa office, Dinesh Gundu Rao, said on Tuesday: “I do not know the real reason or intention of the TMC coming to Goa. The timing, the approach… many questions still remain unanswered. What are they coming here to do, who are they coming here to help, their agenda has yet to be revealed.

“Nobody comes three or four months before the elections. The TMC leader has her own respectability and we all admire her, but this model that is being implemented in Goa does not appear to be a TMC model. It looks more like the Modi-Amit Shah model. I’m still confused about the real agenda and the intent of TMC, ”Rao added.

He also called Faleiro’s exit a “blessing in disguise.”

How is the Congress located in Goa?

On Tuesday, Faleiro recounted how he planned to demand the formation of the government after the 2017 elections, after Congress won 21 seats in the assembly. He said the Goa congressional bureau official asked him not to do so and the BJP, which has linked with GFP, MGP and Independents, formed the government.

Two years later, in 2019, the party’s strength in the Assembly fell from 15 to five after 10 MPs defected from the BJP. The Congressional motion to disqualify the defectors is pending in the Bombay High Court in Goa.

Now, over the past two months, the party has inducted several leaders, including bureaucrat-turned-politician Elvis Gomes, former AAP chairman in Goa and former East Bengal footballer Alvito D’Cunha, who had supported the TMC election campaign in West Bengal ahead of the Assembly elections in May.

On Wednesday, Congress also inducted former independent MP Avertano Furtado, who served as minister in the cabinet of the late CM Manohar Parrikar in 2012. Furtado was elected in the constituency of Navelim in 2012, a seat now vacated by Faleiro.

The Goa Forward Party, a distant ally of the BJP with three MPs, and the National Congress Party, with one, were awaiting Congress’ response to an alliance ahead of the poll.

The party is now down to four MPs, three of whom are former CMs from Goa. The oldest congressman Pratapsingh Rane, Ravi Naik and the leader of the opposition in the Digambar Kamat Assembly are former CMs. Rane is the father of Vishwajit Rane, a BJP MP and Minister of Health in Cabinet Pramod Sawant.

Will TMC split opposition votes in Goa?

Prior to the TMC’s official announcement to challenge the Goa polls, the AAP was expected to eat away at congressional votes. The AAP has aggressively launched programs to keep Goa voters engaged, and Arvind Kejriwal, during his visits over the past three months, has pledged free electricity for up to 300 units per month, a law for an 80% reservation for locals in private employment, and an employment allowance for the tourism and mining sectors. Kejriwal and MGP MLA Ramkrishna aka Sundin Dhavalikar had discussions, but made no formal announcement.

The Goa Forward Party has repeatedly called for “united opposition” against the BJP, but with Congress keeping it suspended, it has taken off with visits to various constituencies on its own.

Moreover, civil society group turned political party Goencho Avaaz and the Mining Dependents Forum (MDF) could all be in the running to garner votes against the BJP. Revolutionary Goans, a Goanese youth political group, is also waiting to register as a party to contest the upcoming elections.

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