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Goa Assembly election 2022 | TMC’s presence will only help BJP, says Sanjay Raut

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. File

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. File

Eschewing the recent bonhomie with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, the ruling Shiv Sena on Sunday lashed out at the TMC alleging that it was trying to split the Congress in poll-bound Goa by poaching its leaders.

In his weekly column Rokhthok in the Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana , Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut criticised Ms. Banerjee’s “resolve” to allegedly finish off the Congress in Goa, which is slated to go to the polls on February 10.

‘AAP using money to woo voters , poach leaders’

He also hit out at the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleging that both the TMC and the AAP were using money to woo voters and poach established leaders.

“The state of affairs in Goa is such that all parties have made it a ‘political laboratory’,” said Sena’s chief spokesperson.

Mr. Raut said while uprooting the Congress could be the BJP’s dream, it did not behove of someone like Ms. Banerjee, who too was fighting the BJP, to adopt such a stance.

The Sena leader said the TMC’s politics would ultimately benefit the BJP.

Lack of strong leadership

“The lack of a strong leadership in Goa has led to the Congress coming down to a mere two MLAs from its strength of 17 after the 2017 Assembly election…moreover, as Goa has never had much relevance in Delhi politics, there is not much overseeing of the Congress at the national level. As a result, ‘outside parties’ like the TMC and the AAP are now suddenly talking about the welfare of Goans and are eyeing Christian votes.” The Goans would nonetheless stand by the Congress, he said.

Ms. Banerjee, in her attempts to project the TMC as a national party and stitch-up an anti-BJP coalition, met Mr. Raut and Minister Aaditya Thackeray in Mumbai and also Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar but conspicuously snubbed the Congress leadership. The Sena, the NCP and the Congress share power in the ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ coalition.

After the meeting, the Sena, which is seen to be moving closer to the Congress of late, had criticised Ms. Banerjee for adopting an “anti-Congress” stance in the Opposition’s fight against the BJP.

Questioning the TMC’s source of funds used in the Goa elections, Mr. Raut also hit out at the ruling BJP for freely misusing money to cling to power in the coastal State.

“The BJP, which has ruled Goa for the last decade, has been ‘buying out’ legislators from other parties with abandon as it had failed to secure majority in the 2017 election... but this time, people whom I met [in Goa] say the BJP will not get a majority even this time. The presence of the TMC will ultimately help the BJP ...BJP’s MLAs and ticket aspirants are ‘history sheeters’ involved in drug-trafficking,” he alleged.

Casino owners controlling politics

Mr. Raut said no political party was talking about the real issues and those people involved in the business of casinos were the ones controlling the politics.

The Sena MP had earlier said his party was looking to form an MVA-like alliance in Goa and was planning to field candidates in 20-25 seats in the 40-member House.

The Sena’s performance was abysmal in 2017 when it lost heavily in all the three seats (Saligao, Cuncolim and Mormugao) it contested with a paltry vote share of less than 2%.


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 6:46:16 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tmcs-presence-in-goa-to-help-bjp-in-polls-claims-sanjay-raut/article38201492.ece