Goa Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Kiran Kandolkar resigned on Wednesday and alleged that political strategist Prashant Kishor was responsible for the "humiliating" defeat of the Mamata Banerjee-led party in the recent State Assembly polls who also tried to "blackmail" the Congress.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Kandolkar claimed that Mr. Kishor ended up helping Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the government after the polls.
The resignation of Mr. Kandolkar and two other leaders, who had contested on the TMC symbol, came as another setback for the Mamata Banerjee-led party which is struggling to retain its flock in Goa since the poll debacle.
The TMC drew a blank in its maiden electoral outing in Goa.
"Prashant Kishor was responsible for the TMC's humiliating defeat in Goa polls. He was in Goa to blackmail the Congress and eventually ended up helping the BJP to form the government again," Mr. Kandolkar alleged.
He, however, didn't elaborate on the "blackmail" charge against Mr. Kishor, who recently declined to join Congress.
Mr. Kandolkar, along with Tarak Arolkar, and Sandeep Vazarkar have resigned from the primary membership of the Mamata Banerjee-led party.
Days earlier, Mr. Kandolkar's wife Kavita Kandolkar had also quit the TMC, owing to "pressure" from her supporters. Soon after Kavita Kandolkar’s resignation move, the Goa TMC tweeted that the party was restructuring the entire AITC Goa State Committee with immediate effect.
Kiran Kandolkar had quit as the working president of the Goa Forward Party to join the TMC in the run-up to the polls held in February this year.
Mr. Kandolkar and his wife had contested on TMC tickets from Aldona and Thivim constituencies, respectively, but lost.
“We did what we felt right at that time. It's human to commit a mistake. We did commit a mistake,” Mr. Kandolkar said when asked if joining the TMC was a mistake.
Calling for all the Opposition parties to unite to defeat the BJP, Mr. Kandolkar conceded that the split of votes went in favour of the BJP.
Mr. Kandolkar said he would neither join any political party nor float a new one.
“I don't want to split anti-BJP votes further,” he added.
The BJP won 20 seats in the 40-member House and returned to power with the support of two MLAs of MGP and three Independents.