September 29, 2021 2:37:53 pm
The remarks came days after former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro resigned as Congress MLA, ahead of the state polls due next year.
Faleiro is set to join the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Kolkata on Wednesday in the presence of the party president and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Talking to PTI, Rao said the TMC was “doing exactly the same thing what the BJP did to Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal”.
Notably, TMC leader Derek O’Brien recently said that his party would be contesting the Goa Legislative Assembly elections due in February next year.
“Trinamool means grassroot, Mamata has worked at the grassroot level and has come up. But, where is the grassroot here (Goa)? This looks like a BJP strategy…of coming to Goa in chartered aircraft, offering bags to people, telling them that we will fund your election if you join us,” Rao said.
“This is like trying to do what Mamata Didi alleged the BJP (of doing) in West Bengal, what they were doing to form government (before the West Bengal polls earlier this year), getting ministers, MLAs to defect, she is doing the same thing here,” he said.
With the Congress’s strength reduced to just four MLAs in the 40-member Goa Assembly, Rao denied that the party had left space for others to enter the coastal state.
“In 2017 (polls), the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to Goa. It was more in news that time compared to what Mamata is in the news today. But it is not as simple as that. The Congress had won 17 seats (in the 2017 Goa polls),” Rao said.
On the exit of Luizinho Faleiro from the party, Rao termed it as “good riddance”.
“Not many people have gone with him, not many people have joined him. If you look at response on social media and from the party cadres, everyone is saying good riddance. Good for the party. That is the response we are getting,” he added.
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