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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Goa: TMC reaches out to GFP chief as BJP ex-ally weighs options

The TMC announced its arrival in Goa in September, when former chief minister and Congress veteran Luizinho Faleiro joined the party.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | Panaji |
October 25, 2021 4:00:17 am
Goa Forward Party president Vijai Sardesai.(File)

Amid political poaching in Goa and talks of a pre-poll alliance, the TMC has been keen on getting Goa Forward Party (GFP) president Vijai Sardesai on board in time for the Assembly polls scheduled for early next year, it is learnt.

The TMC announced its arrival in Goa in September, when former chief minister and Congress veteran Luizinho Faleiro joined the party. In the following weeks, Independent legislator Prasad Gaonkar pledged support to the TMC, and several workers of the Congress, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Shiv Sena as well as members of civil society joined the party.

It is learnt that the TMC is now looking to capitalise on the flutter it has created by getting Sardesai on board.

Sardesai, formerly with the Congress, is an estranged ally of the BJP. His party has three MLAs in the 40-member Assembly.

In July, Sardesai had said that the Congress had agreed to an “in-principle” alliance with the GFP, but has since been kept hanging. Earlier this month, he referred to that, saying, “If the principal opposition does not want to do it (bring opposition parties together), we will take the lead…” In an indication that the GFP may be looking towards the TMC for a possible alliance, Sardesai had said, “Women’s participation can really take the state and the country forward. This is seen in Kolkata. But for this, we need street-fighters.”

Sardesai recently had a meeting with political strategist Prashant Kishor, and sources said he may be offered the position of TMC’s Goa president and possibly even be the chief ministerial candidate.

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee is expected to arrive in Goa on October 28. Sardesai, sources said, is still deliberating over the possibilities and is likely to take a decision in the coming week. So far, no meeting has been planned between him and Banerjee.

The decision, however, may not be an easy one for Sardesai. Sources said the GFP cadre is not comfortable with the idea of the party’s “merger” with the TMC and have voiced concern over it feeling like an “acquisition” of the party, which may not sit well with their voters.

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