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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Congress asks TMC to introspect if it is strengthening BJP in Goa

Elections are not tourism where you go to Goa for two months or five months and then return, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala told the Trinamool Congress

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi |
October 26, 2021 4:43:25 pm
Surjewala said the Huzurabad bypolls have become the most corrupt and most expensive polls in India's electoral history. (Express File Photo)

As the Trinamool Congress gears up to launch an aggressive poll campaign for the forthcoming Assembly elections in Goa with the visit of Mamata Banerjee later this week, the Congress on Tuesday hit out at the TMC asking it to introspect whether it was strengthening the BJP by giving it covering fire or trying to carve out a space for itself in Goa. It reminded the TMC that elections were not “tourism.”

Senior Congress leaders like Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had been criticising the Trinamool Congress for focusing on Goa, but on Tuesday the party officially questioned the TMC’s move.

“Every party has a right to fight elections. In Goa, TMC fought the last Assembly elections as well. But what did they do for five years after that? Elections are not tourism where you fight one election and then you go away and reappear after five years. Elections are not tourism where you go to Goa for two months or five months… and then go back. So, while I respect and recognise their right to fight elections independently – because that is the beauty of democratic polity – they need to understand what are they fighting, who are they fighting and what are they fighting for,” Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said.

“The Congress is fighting for Goa, transparency, accountability, people of Goa and the rights of the people of Goa. What are the other political parties fighting for? The BJP is fighting for the kind of corruption that we have seen, but the other political parties need to also introspect… are they strengthening the cause of BJP or are they really in contest for their own place in the polity of Goa,” he said. “That question I will leave it to them to decide,” he added.

Surjewala said that while some of the other Opposition parties crumbled under pressure, the Congress is the “only political party” which had been fighting the BJP and the Narendra Modi government’s policies for the last seven years.

The Congress, he said, has fought the BJP “single-handedly, without bowing down, without getting cowed down and without retracting even a step, at the cost of many personal sacrifices, despite being persecuted recklessly and unjustifiably by the ruling dispensation.”

“Our records speak for itself. Opposition parties, whenever they get ED notices, whenever their leaders are summoned to ED offices or CBI offices, unjustifiably I agree… that is also part of a persecution plan… but many times they retract and many times latently or patently some of them have compromised. I don’t blame them. Everybody does not necessarily have the courage to stand for truth, come what may,” Surjewala said.

He said the Congress empathises with the smaller Opposition parties. “We will support those smaller Opposition parties even when they oppose us. Because it is our duty to stand with everybody who is being wrongly persecuted.”

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