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Goa: Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, named as election candidate, resigns; likely to join TMC

Lourenco's resignation comes just four days after he was retained as the candidate from the Curtorim constituency for the upcoming assembly elections. Congress is now left with two ex-chief ministers Pratapsingh Rane and leader of opposition Digambar Kamat in the assembly.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | Panaji |
Updated: December 20, 2021 5:54:29 pm
Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco

Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, who was one of three remaining Congress MLAs in Goa, resigned as a legislator on Monday and is expected to join Trinamool Congress (TMC). His resignation comes just four days after the party’s central leadership retained him as its candidate from the Curtorim constituency for the upcoming assembly elections.

The three-time MLA tendered his resignation two months after he was appointed as the working president of the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC).

Congress is now left with two ex-chief ministers Pratapsingh Rane and leader of opposition Digambar Kamat in the assembly. While Kamat has already been named as the party’s candidate from Margao, Rane is yet to announce his decision about contesting the assembly election.

Meanwhile, GPCC president Girish Chodankar said that Lourenco’s move was “selfish” and that the Curtorim block committee would meet to discuss the way forward. “We have many options,” Chodankar said.

“These are selfish leaders who put self-interest over that of others. They have no clarity and vision. They joined the party out of selfish interests,” Chodankar added.

“We had expected that this time he (Lourenco) would show some maturity and overcome his childish ways. But he has disappointed (us) again. For many people, this may not be shocking,” said Chodankar who added that Lourenco was “shaky” even before the 2017 assembly elections.

Over Lourenco’s speculated entry into the TMC, Chodankar said: “We have seen this drama unfolding with the new politics in the state.Everyone knows that the BJP and the TMC are the same. Perhaps the BJP decides the TMC’s election strategy. The way they have dispatched the TMC to Goa and strengthened them, shows it,” said Chodankar.

“The BJP is trying to demoralise us through various means. They are desperate because we are exposing them every day. Our cadre is very strong and our grassroots workers have protected the party and it is their strength that will drive our fight against BJP,” Chodankar said.

Down to just two MLAs from 17 in 2017 Congress has seen quite a lot of infighting over the last five years. Ten of its MLAs defected to the BJP in 2019. Later, two ex-chief ministers Luizinho Faleiro and Ravi Naik went to the TMC and BJP respectively.

While Lourenco was earlier in talks with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), he was placated by the Congress’s senior leadership and retained.

In a tweet on October 5, Lourenco thanked Rahul Gandhi for “personally taking time” to wish him on his birthday. “Will work harder for the people of Goa,” he wrote then.

Senior Congress leader from southern Goa Moreno Rebelo had resigned from the party and joined the BJP earlier this month expressing displeasure over making Lourenco the candidate from Curtorim again.

Rebelo stated in his resignation on December 10 that Lourenco had “never participated in any party activity for four and a half years and on the contrary only abused party leaders”.

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