Rahul Gandhi has not discussed the possibility of an alliance with Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in Goa ahead of the state elections next month, senior Congress leader KC Venugopal tweeted Monday night, stressing that his party is “confident – we will put Goa back on the path to progress soon”.
Amid the buzz that a meeting was called on Tuesday by Mr Gandhi with Goa Congress leaders to discuss a possible tie-up with the Trinamool, senior party leader Dinesh R Gundu Rao said, “No alliance or talks with the Trinamool Congress is happening. Despite efforts by the TMC, the Congress has made it clear that the whole approach and attempt of the TMC – right from Day One – in Goa has been negative and aimed at attacking the Congress, instead of the BJP .”
“They have poached our MLAs and now they want an alliance to give them seats,” he added
He also pointed out that the party has an alliance with the Goa Forward Party and is actively engaging with Sharad Pawar’s NCP and the Shiv Sena – its Maharashtra allies- for fighting together in the assembly elections.
Mamata Banerjee’s party is one of the fresh entrants in the coastal state where, among other contenders, Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP is also trying to win big in the state elections.
Trinamool has tied up with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) of Sudhin Dhavalikar, a party that the BJP had dumped in 2019, to fight the polls.
In the last few months, Trinamool’s ties with Congress have been strained with Ms Banerjee making remarks that diminish the party’s role as others in the opposition attempt to put up a united front against the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
“What UPA? There is no UPA now? What is the UPA? We will clear all issues. We want a strong alternative,” Ms Banerjee had said last month when she met former union minister Sharad Pawar whose party is a Congress ally in Maharashtra.
Mr Chidambaram too had hit out at Trinamool Congress and the AAP last month, saying only his party can defeat the BJP. The TMC and AAP are fracturing the non-BJP vote. Whether that will benefit the BJP, I cannot say,” he was quoted as saying by the news agency PTI.
Several senior Congress leaders in Goa have recently quit the party ahead of polls, including former Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro who joined the Trinamool Congress.
In 2017, Congress had emerged as the single largest party by winning 17 seats in the 40-member house. Later, however, the BJP managed to form the government. The Pramod Sawant-led government is trying to retain power amid a multi-cornered contest across 40 seats Goa will vote on February 14; the results will be out on March 10.
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