Panaji: A few senior leaders of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), including MP Derek O’Brien, have arrived in Goa, which has sparked speculation that the Mamata Banerjee-led party plans to make a foray into the BJP-ruled state’s electoral politics by contesting next year’s Assembly polls.
O’Brien, accompanied by his party colleague Prasun Banerjee, landed at the Dabolim airport on Thursday afternoon, from where they travelled to Panaji.
When reporters asked O’Brien about the purpose of their visit to the coastal state, he declined to comment.
Sources in Goa’s political circles claimed that the TMC was in touch with a few Congress leaders and an Indpendent MLA in Goa, and eyeing to join hands with them for the Assembly polls due in February next year.
The name of Congress MLA and former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro is being discussed as one of the probables who might join the TMC. However, he has dismissed such reports.
“No one has contacted me. If I take any step, I would do it only after consulting my workers,” he told PTI.
Talking to reporters on Thursday, former Congress MLA Agnelo Fernandes claimed that there has been a lot of resentment within the Congress, which might have triggered rumours about the party leaders switching sides to the TMC.
Fernandes said that the Congress, despite emerging as the single largest party after winning 17 seats in the last state elections, was not allowed to form the government by the party’s senior leaders.
“Some leaders have been facing insult and humiliation in the party,” he alleged.
However, he refused to confirm whether there was a possibility of any Congress leader joining the TMC.
In the 2017 Goa Assembly polls, the Congress had won the highest 17 seats in the 40-member House, restricting the BJP to 13. But surprising the Congress, the saffron party allied with regional parties and came to power under the leadership of senior leader Manohar Parrikar, now deceased.
In the West Bengal Assembly polls held earlier this year, the Trinamool Congress bagged 213 of the 292 seats and secured a third straight term in office.