Former chief minister and Congress MLA Luizinho Faleiro has stoked controversy by alleging that party leader Digvijaya Singh, who was the Congress’s Goa in-charge during the state Assembly polls, did not allow him to hand over the letter to the Governor to form the government in the state.
In March 2017, the Congress had won 17 seats in the state polls, making it the frontrunner to claim majority in the 40-member Assembly.
Faleiro’s statement comes at a time when state politics is at a fragile juncture, with the BJP’s MLA count reduced to 13 after the death of former minister Francis D Souza. Congress now has 14 MLAs, regaining its stature as the single largest party in the Assembly.
Faleiro said that he chose to resign after the BJP rushed to hand over the letter and form the government, despite not having the numbers. “After the last election… that night when the general secretary Mr Digvijaya Singh did not allow me to hand over the letter to the Governor for the formation of then Congress government… I as a protest resigned from the PCC, asked them to accept my earlier resignation as PCC president and… refused to be leader of CLP, leader of opposition,” said Faleiro while inaugurating a road in his constituency in Navelim.
“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 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 patience for our party to form government. But I have not interfered, I will not interfere, nor do I want to contest the elections,” Faleiro said.
When contacted, Singh said, “I don’t want to add anything more than my tweet.” Till 12.15 am, there were no tweets related to Faleiro’s claims on Singh’s account. Faleiro is being seen as the Congress choice for the south Goa Lok Sabha seat, according to insiders.