Luizinho Faleiro, former Goa Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader, joins Trinamool Congress and calls for a unification of the ‘Congress family’

Published : September 29, 2021 20:43 IST

Luizinho Faleiro (left) with senior TMC leader Subrata Mukherjee (centre) and Abishek Banerjee, general secretary of the Trinamool Congress after he formally joined the Trinamool Congress, in Kolkata on September 29. Photo: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI

 

Luizinho Faleiro, former Chief Minister of Goa and veteran Congress leader, joined the Trinamool Congress along with six other Congress leaders and three prominent citizens of Goa on September 29 in Kolkata. Faleiro, a two-time Chief Minister and seven-time MLA, called for the “unification of the Congress family” after being inducted into the Trinamool Congress by Abhishek Banerjee, all-India general secretary of the party..

Addressing the media after being formally inducted into the party, Faleiro said that his resignation from the Congress was “a beginning for the unification of the Congress family”. “At the outset let me say I am a Congressman. I have lived as a Congressman for the last 40 years and, as a Congressman, I have the same ideology, principles and programmes. Today, as I am joining Trinamool, my dream is to bring the Congress family together. Wherever there is unity there is strength; and wherever there is strength there is success,” he said. He pointed out that at present the Congress in India was a “fragmented” party with the Trinamool Congress, the YSR Congress, the Sharad Pawar Congress and the Indira Congress having broken away from it . “I will strive to ensure that once again the Congress family is consolidated,” he said.

He said that his political priority was to overthrow the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “My main mission today, joining Trinamool, is to defeat the BJP with its divisive policies, culture of intolerance, culture of hatred, culture of vengeance. Today, India and my little Goa are undergoing an economic meltdown…. The overall administration has collapsed,” said Faleiro.

He said the BJP has taken the country back by 45 years. “In Goa we are facing a similar problem…. Goa is in a very bad shape in terms of economy, administration. There is no hope of good governance…. Today, I am starting my journey with Mamata Didi, because Goa needs a credible alternative. I have approached my sister, whom you lovingly call Didi, and requested her to come to Goa and support the people of Goa,” he said.

With the Assembly elections in Goa due in 2022, Faleiro said that he was confident that Trinamool would win. “I am sure that the people in Goa are fed up with the BJP. I am sure they are looking for a credible change. I am sure they want a strong leadership in the Congress family, and I am sure the Trinamool Congress will be victorious in the coming elections,” he said.

However, even as Faleiro spoke of a “unification of the Congress family”, his new party leader Abhishek Banerjee was unsparing in his criticism of the Congress. Accusing the Congress of being an “armchair warrior”, he said that the Congress “should hit the streets” like the Trinamool has done. “If the Congress cannot defeat the BJP, the Trinamool will do it,” he said, perhaps indirectly pointing out that he did not endorse the idea that his party was a part of the “Congress family.”

As the Trinamool Congress seeks to expand its base in other States, it has made no secret of its political ambition in Goa. A few days earlier Abhishek Banerjee, addressing a public gathering, had said: “Trinamool is not confined to Bengal alone. We have already started working in Tripura, and Assam. In the coming days, Trinamool Congress will also be going to Goa, so be prepared.” While introducing Faleiro to the media following his induction into the Trinamool, Lok Sabha MP Saugata Roy said, “This is a major milestone in the journey of the All India Trinamool Congress.”

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