When Reginaldo met Fadnavis, Sawant at midnight


The midnight meeting at a starred hotel in the capital city between Congress working president Aleixo Reginaldo and BJP's Goa desk in-charge Devendra Fadnavis has set tongues wagging. The grapevine had it that Reginaldo is being ‘fixed’ by the BJP top brass. While Reginaldo called it just a coincidence since he was at the hotel for dinner, it was Fadnavis who said that Reginaldo did not meet him but met the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

The Curtorim MLA has a point that he very often takes time to discuss the issues of his constituents with the CM, but against the backdrop of the bitter political rivalries and campaigns, this kind of dinner diplomacy would obviously send out conflicting signals. It was not too long ago that Reginaldo was negotiating with the AAP and had to be convinced by his supporters and the parish to stay on with the Congress. The Congress leadership, as a consolation, promised him a new role and an 'undisclosed' offer post elections and soon he was named as the party's third working president. However, nothing has changed from then and Reginaldo continues to remain sombre, although seen seated next to party president Girish Chodankar at press conferences.
He has clarified his position and said nothing should be read into the midnight meeting, but the mere fact that a working president of the principal opposition party is having a chit-chat with the BJP leadership in the confines of a five-star hotel casts a shadow of doubt over his sincerity. The BJP will have nothing to lose here. It is for Congress to face the embarrassment of such 'surprise encounters' since the party has been constantly facing flak over its leaders jumping ship and joining BJP. Let’s not forget that opposition parties like Aam Aadmi Party have been consistently charging Congress of colluding with the BJP.
Congress has put up scrutiny and shortlisting panels to screen candidates, and assigned roles to senior party leaders like Reginaldo in a bid to placate them, but these offerings are too insignificant in an electoral season, and it would be stupid to assume that disgruntled elements are going to settle down with these irrelevant postings, and not look for an opportunity. Political opportunism has seen many leaders backtrack and change parties to suit their political fortunes. In a classic case, Kiran Kandolkar and his wife who joined Goa Forward recently with much fanfare jumped to TMC last week fearing a Congress-GF alliance. Reginaldo has attempted to negate all speculations and theories by stoutly defending his position in Congress, and although GPCC president Girish Chodankar promptly backed him, the discomfort in the ranks is clearly visible.
At a time when parties are floating conspiracy theories and accusing each other of being Team B, the Congress leaders should have been cautious of the company they are keeping. Reginaldo may have pleaded his innocence about the 'coincidental' meeting with Fadnavis and Sawant, but there will be an element of suspicion, especially because the BJP always had a soft corner for the Congress leader.  
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