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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Former MLA, 4 others quit Goa TMC, say party is trying to ‘divide Goans on basis of religion’

The other leaders who quit the party are Ram Mandrekar, Kishor Parwar, Komal Parwar and Sujay Mallik.

By: Express News Service | Panaji |
Updated: December 24, 2021 10:13:09 pm
Lavoo Mamledar (fourth from left) was among the first ten Goan leaders to join the TMC. (Pic: TMC)

Within three months of joining the Trinamool Congress (TMC), former Goa MLA Lavoo Mamledar Friday resigned from the party along with four others. In the resignation letter submitted to the party’s supremo Mamata Banerjee, Mamledar alleged TMC is trying “to divide Goans on the basis of religion”.

The setback for TMC comes at a time when the party is looking to increase its base in Goa and is inducting political leaders, activists and members of civil society into its folds ahead of the Legislative Assembly election slated to be held next year.

Mamledar, a former Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLA from Ponda, also wrote that the TMC’s “move to polarise Hindu votes towards MGP and Catholic votes towards the AITC (All India Trinamool Congress) is purely communal in nature”.

The letter signed by Mamledar, Ram Mandrekar, Kishor Parwar, Komal Parwar and Sujay Mallik said, “We do not want to continue with a party which is trying to divide Goans. We will not allow AITC and the company managing AITC Goa to break the secular fabric of the state and we shall protect it.”

Mamledar, a former MGP MLA from Ponda and former Deputy Superintendent of Police, had joined TMC on September 29 and was among the first ten leaders from Goa to join along with former Chief Minister and now TMC’s Rajya Sabha MP Luizinho Faleiro.

While Independent MLA Prasad Gaonkar had earlier pledged support to TMC without joining the party, he later changed his mind and extended support to Congress and Goa Forward Party (GFP) after the two parties announced a pre-poll alliance.

“The way TMC has divided Goa between Christians and Hindus — that Catholic votes will go to TMC and Hindu votes will go to MGP — is evident from the seat sharing pact of the alliance with MGP. Thus, I thought, it is not a secular party but a communal party trying to divide Hindus and Catholics of Goa,” Mamledar said while speaking to reporters.

The letter stated that by aligning with Ramkrishna alias Sudin Dhavalikar, senior MGP leader and the party’s only MLA, TMC is trying to divide the votes. Mamledar, earlier with MGP, was expelled from the party in 2019 and had fallen out with MGP president Pandurang alias Deepak Dhavalikar and his brother Sudin Dhavalikar.

The resignation letter also stated, “We had joined the AITC with a hope that it would bring brighter days for Goa and Goans. But it is unfortunate to bring to your notice that AITC has not understood Goa and Goans.”

On Thursday, TMC had announced that the universal coverage of the Griha Laxmi Scheme, under which one woman of each family will receive Rs 5,000 every month, had seen 1 lakh registrations in just 12 days of its launch. The scheme is among TMC’s poll assurances.

Mamledar’s letter said that while they had announced such a scheme in Goa, in West Bengal, the TMC-led government gives Rs 500 to each woman every month under the Laxmi Bhandar scheme. “When the AITC government has failed to uplift women in West Bengal, we don’t think it would do any good to our Goan mothers and sisters.”

“The company you have hired for your campaign in Goa is fooling Goans and they have not understood the pulse of Goa. This clearly indicates that in Goa the Griha Laxmi Scheme is nothing but a collection of data for elections by the company you have hired as they don’t have any data on the ground,” the letter alleged. TMC’s poll campaign in Goa is run by I-PAC led by political strategist Prashant Kishor.

Reacting to the resignation, Faleiro said, “TMC has a mission and vision and we will go according to our mission and vision to bring about a change, credible change in the state of Goa. Some passengers’ destination may have changed so they may get off but the bus will go ahead. The vision is clear.”

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