Former Goa Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro on Monday resigned as member of the Legislative Assembly as he is all set to join the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
Mr. Faleiro said the country needed a leader like West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“It’s Mamata who has given a tough fight to Narendra Modi and their juggeranut. Narendra Modi ji had 200 meetings in Bengal, [Home Minister] Amit Shah may be had 250 meetings. Then there was the Enforcement Directorate, the CBI and everybody. But the Mamata formula has won. She has been able to stand, she is a street fighter,” Mr. Faleiro, a former member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), told reporters at his residence in Margao.
Though he resigned from the primary membership of the Congress, he is likely to formally join the Trinamool in Kolkata soon, the second Congress leader to be doing so after Sushmita Dev.
Mr. Faleiro decision to become the face of TMC in Goa will not only be significant for the State Assembly elections that usually witnesses fractured mandate and smaller parties with two-three MLAs decide government formation but also carries national implications. With election strategist Prashant Kishor frequently meeting Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar apart from advising the Trinamool chief, Goa election could be the first occasion where regional players could work together to assert their importance.
Mr. Faleiro (70), who was recently made the head of the Congress Campaign Committee for the next year’s Assembly polls in Goa, also met with a select group of people from his Assembly seat, Navelim, to inform them of his decision.
Later, he submitted his resignation to Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar, following which the Congress's strength in the 40-member House has been reduced to four.
‘I am a Congressman’
“I am a Congressman, I would like larger picture of all the Congress parties [which have split from the Congress] to come together and fight the next parliamentary election. I would do everything to achieve this dream. It is definitely my dream,” he said.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera played down Mr. Faleiro’s quitting. He asserted that only those leaders who have the patience to be in the Opposition continue in the party. He added that some people may be leaving but others were joining the party.