Trinamool Congress, Luizinho and the aftermath


Any sane person would turn senile listening to the verbose press conference of Luizinho Faleiro cunningly sermonizing on Congress ideology when confronted with the question of his resignation from the Congress party. In fact, his resignation as the MLA of the Congress party says it all. At the press conference, Faleiro projected his future role as the unifier of the splinter groups of the Congress (INC, TMC, NCP, YSR) and the resignation from the seat in the Goa Assembly as the sacrifice or penance to do the great service to Goa, the nation and the Congress ideology. God forbid, he did not draw the analogy of Mahatma Gandhi on a hunger fast to restore sanity and peace during the worst riots following the Partition of India.  

The resignation of the senior-most leader of the Congress party and former Congress Chief Minister and Ex-President of GPCC Luizinho Faleiro is undoubtedly a setback to the Congress. His entry into the TMC which is attempting to make its foray into the 2022 state elections has prepared the stage to launch its election operations. 

Whether Luizinho’s taking charge of TMC, who was once upon a time considered as a giant with tremendous influence over Salcete taluka proves to be a major jolt to the Congress party or will stay merely on paper with minor damage, time will decide. Actually, the active political innings of the former Salcete strongman was supposed to have concluded. His crown was adorned with all the political offices and largesse that the Congress party could offer to him. No doubt, he led the Congress flag for over three decades. At the same time, the Congress party compensated his contribution in no less measure. It looks that the party expected him to reciprocate as the friend, counselor, philosopher and guide to a management succession envisaged by the Congress. But, Luizinho Faleiro still had the hunger to dabble in active politics. The addiction to political power is understandable and the highly decorated politician that he was, proved to be no exception to this human frailty. 

For a person who still has the unquenchable desire, a wild card entry to the Rajya Sabha along with stakes in state leadership with power in allotment of tickets and budgets without limits as TMC leaders claim is an offer which seasoned politicians find difficult to refuse. Bashing up the Congress is no big deal with the conventional weapons of humiliating treatment and disregard to the Catholic minorities. It remains to be seen whether the well-wishers, sympathizers and voters of the Congress party from the community fall prey to such propaganda outbursts of politicians with vested interests and personal ambitions.

Field reports and the feedback through social media indicate that the general public has not taken kindly to the entry of TMC. The graph of the once upon a time tall leader of the Congress in Goa, Luizinho Faleiro has consistently slumped over the recent years for what people perceive as clandestine dealings with the BJP from the times of ex-CM Manohar Parrikar and shady decisions to weaken the Congress party along with nursing a coterie to retain power.

The TMC wants to ride in Goa on the wheels of its resounding victory in West Bengal and the narrative of the tigress Mamata Didi crushing the BJP which used and abused all that it was in its command. Their strategy seems to be to project that the Congress is weak to oust the BJP in Goa and even if the people provide the mandate, the Congressmen are easy prey for defections and shifting loyalties. However, a clear contradiction is discernible in these tactical statements as the TMC wants to piggy ride through imports of politicians from the Congress party, thereby attempting to unsettle the Congress house. 

If the mission of the TMC was to oust the BJP from power in Goa, their eyes should have turned to poaching the politicians in BJP. TMC entry poses no threat to BJP as their gun and trigger is aimed at the Congress party, thereby boosting the comfort levels of the BJP. The clear objective appears to be to aim at a vote share of 6 per cent in this tiny territory for the TMC to elevate itself into a national party by fitting into the laid down norms of the Election Commission of India. Mamata and TMC were adored by the secular forces not only in Goa but all over the country for their thunderous victory over BJP. TMC has its right to work to be in the pages of a national party but the strategy adopted in Goa would make the TMC top leadership unpopular amongst the forces which sincerely want to work out an effective alternative to the ruling dispensation in the state. 

There is a buzz in Goa of Prashant Kishore who is today eulogized as the God of Elections. He is considered as a power that augments the democratic current and the election outcome even without a groundswell. We also have Sachin Tendulkar lauded as the God of Cricket. But, there are instances of Sachin leaving the crease with a duck in his account. TMC and BJP are archrivals in West Bengal. They could well complement each other in Goa damaging the opportunity of an alternative government.

2022 could see a five cornered contest in the proverbial peaceful tourist state of India with BJP, Congress, MGP, AAP and now TMC locking its horns. If GFP and NCP decide to “teach a lesson to the Congress party” for ignoring overtures of an alliance, Goa could well celebrate a jazzy election carnival.     

The TMC has nothing to lose in its Goa electoral operations and machinations. Whatever votes their candidates poll will be their gain. It is for the people and electorate of Goa to decide whether they want to sacrifice the opportunity 2022 provides to defeat the BJP and install an alternative liberal and stable government which respects environment, heritage and cultural values that unique Goa is known for all over the world. Needless to say, the paltry gain of the TMC could be a loss of Goa and Goans. Time will enlighten whether the weeding of politicians past expiry dates will bring good omen and energize the Congress party. 

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