The Congress accused Trinamool Congress (TMC) of helping the ruling BJP by dividing secular votes in Goa where Assembly elections will be held in the next few months.
Addressing Congress workers at the Thivim constituency on November 20 evening, hours after Goa Forward Party leader Kiran Kandolkar joined TMC, AICC Goa desk incharge Dinesh Gundu Rao said, “It's sad to note that at a time when Goans, in general, are anxiously waiting to end the BJP misrule, concerted attempts are being made to divide the anti-BJP vote”.
The TMC seems to be dividing the secular votes and helping BJP, he said.
"The new parties that have entered Goa don't seem to understand the prevailing public mood and sentiment against the BJP. They also seem to have failed to gauge the public sentiment that like-minded parties should come together in 2022,” he added.
When the Congress and other like-minded parties have been trying to come together with a one-point agenda to defeat the BJP in 2022, these new parties seem to be on a mission to divide the anti-BJP votes, Mr. Rao said in an apparent reference to Congress veteran Luizinho Faleiro switching sides to TMC, which nominated him to Rajya Sabha.
“These parties first lured Congress leaders and workers with positions. Now, they are targeting the regional parties by poaching their candidates. People are watching. They are mature enough to see the game plan of these new parties that a division of votes will benefit the ruling party," he added.
In the 2017 Goa Assembly polls, the Congress had won the highest 17 seats in the 40-member House restricting the BJP at 13. However, the BJP allied with regional parties- GFP and MGP- to form a government under the late Manohar Parrikar.
Over years, the Congress' strength dwindled to four as many MLAs switched over to the ruling BJP. Mr. Faleiro recently joined the Mamata Banerjee-led party.