Former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro has resigned as a Congress MLA and is set to join the TMC.
Luizinho Faleiro, a Goa Congress strongman and former chief minister, resigned as an MLA on Monday, indicating that he may join the Trinamool Congress. According to sources, Faleiro is in contact with the TMC's top leadership and will announce his decision to join the party this evening. Before going to Goa Speaker Rajesh Patnekar to present his resignation, Faleiro complimented West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, stating she alone was capable of fighting the BJP.
Faleiro's departure will be a major setback for the Congress, which has been out of power in Goa since 2012. His contributions to the Congress were said to have extended beyond his home state, as he designed methods that led to the formation of governments in Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and Manipur.
In the 2017 elections in Goa, the Congress gained 17 seats, the most in the 40-member Goa Assembly. With only 13 seats, the BJP caught the opposition off guard and went on to form a government with the aid of regional parties. Since then, the Congress has steadily lost MLAs to the ruling coalition, and with Faleiro's departure, the party's strength has been reduced to just four.
The TMC has already proclaimed its intention to run in the Goa Assembly elections next year, and they have been in contact with a number of local politicians. Another party trying to expand its presence in the coastal state is Arvind Kejriwal's AAP.