Ex-Goa CM Faleiro joins TMC, calls for uniting Congress factions under Mamata to fight BJP

Faleiro, who met Banerjee earlier in the day, said she handed a huge defeat to the BJP in the state assembly election and asserted that ‘Didi’ will usher in a ‘new dawn’

File image of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

Kolkata: Former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro, who recently quit the Congress, joined the Trinamool Congress on Wednesday and called for uniting various factions of the grand old party under the leadership of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to fight the BJP.

Faleiro, who met Banerjee earlier in the day, said she handed a huge defeat to the BJP in the state assembly election and asserted that ”Didi” will usher in a “new dawn”.

The TMC asserted it will contest the 2022 Goa assembly election on its own, while Banerjee, welcoming Faleiro and several other leaders of the Western state into the party, said they will fight for every Goan together.

“At the outset, I must say I am a Congressman. I have the same ideology and principles. Today when I am joining the TMC, my dream is to bring together this Congress family. I should try to ensure that the Congress family is again united. My main aim is to defeat the BJP. The Congress family is the TMC, Indira Congress, YSR Congress, the Sharad Pawar Congress. The Congress is fragmented. We have to unite all these forces and bring them together. It is only under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee that various factions of the Congress can unite and put up a fight against the BJP,” said Faleiro.

Claiming that Banerjee has destroyed the BJP’s agenda, he said she is a street fighter and the moment has come for everybody to join her as “Didi will bring in a new dawn…. They could not break Didi’s indomitable spirit.”

Stating that time has come to bring back India on track of secularism, democracy and growth, Faleiro said he is confident that “Mamata Banerjee will lead the opposition and fight against the BJP.”

Faleiro, who quit the Congress on Monday after 40 years of association, refused to criticize the Gandhi family or the Congress leadership.

“If you expect me to criticise the Congress leadership, I will not. I had a 40-year association with the party,” he said when asked to comment on the group of 23 senior party leaders, described as the G-23, raising questions against the leadership.

The former Goa chief minister joined the TMC in presence of party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and other senior leaders such as Sougata Ray and Subrata Mukherjee.

Abhishek said the TMC will contest the 2022 Goa assembly election on its own.

“We are going to fight the upcoming polls in Goa on our own. Hope this puts to rest all speculations,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Faleiro and a few other Congress leaders from Goa met TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

She published the following tweets on Twitter:

She also welcomed several other leaders from Goa such as former MGP MLA Lavoo Mamledar, Congress general secretaries Yatish Naik and Vijay Poi, Sahitya Akademi Award winning poet Shivdas Sonu Naik and others into the party.

She further welcomed others to the TMC family.

The TMC, which is making efforts to increase its footprint nationally, has been trying to make inroads in Goa. Top TMC leaders including Derek O’Brien were in the coastal state last week.

Faleiro’s induction is expected to boost the party’s prospects in poll-bound Goa.

Underling his reason for joining the TMC, Faleiro said, “Goa is today going backwards and facing an economic meltdown. The state is suffering under the BJP’s rule. The economic situation of the state is abysmal. It is suffering from maladministration and misplaced policies.”

He said Goa needs a credible alternative.

“I have joined the TMC because Goa needs a credible alternative. I request TMC chairperson Mamata Banerjee to visit Goa and help Goans fight the divisive forces which are destroying our ethos, culture and identity,” Faleiro said.

With PTI inputs

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