A fresh row erupted in Goa Tuesday when former chief minister and Congress MLA Luizinho Faleiro alleged that Congress leader Digvijaya Singh did not allow him to hand over the letter to Governor to form the government after the 2017 Assembly elections. The Congress had emerged as the single largest party with 17 seats in the coastal state but the BJP staked claim to form the government.
Faleiro’s statement comes at a time when the state politics is at a fragile juncture, with BJP’s MLA count reducing to 13 after the demise of Francis D Souza, former minister from Mapusa constituency. The Congress now has 14 MLAs in the assembly, regaining its stature as the single largest party.
Singh, who was the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee, was given the Goa chapter and was camping in the state on the eve of the elections.
Faleiro has now revealed that he chose to resign after the events that unfolded which saw BJP rushing to hand over the letter and form the government, despite lacking the numbers. “After the last Assembly elections when general secretary Mr Digvijaya Singh did not allow me to hand over the letter to the Governor for the formation of the government, I resigned from the PCC in protest, asked them to accept my earlier resignation as the PCC president and I refused to become the CLP leader and leader of Opposition,” said Faleiro while inaugurating a road in his constituency in Navelim.
Faleiro is being seen as Congress’ choice for the seat of MP from South Goa, according to insiders.
“I had refused even though I had the highest number of votes, nearly 12 to 13 votes out of 17. I refused because I said I will do the work in my constituency. They had promised that they will form the government within 24 hours. Now 24 months have passed, but I still have the patience for our party to form the government. But I have not interfered, I will not interfere, nor do I want to contest the elections,” Faleiro added.
When contacted Singh said, “I do not want to add anything more than my tweet.” There were no tweets though on his account.