On Monday, Congress MLA and former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro resigned as an MLA and from the Congress party. The decision comes ahead of an anticipated entry into the Trinamool Congress which is expected to be announced later today.
Taking to Twitter, Faleiro announced his resignation. “I thank the people of #Navelim for placing their trust in me and look forward to their continued support in all future endeavors. #Goa #newbeginnings,” he wrote. In the afternoon, he handed over his resignation letter to Speaker Rajesh Patnekar, who accepted his resignation.
Commenting on his resignation, Faleiro outlined that he has been a Congressman for 40 years, and will continue to be a Congressman of the Congress family. He appreciated the way Mamata fought against Narendra Modi. “Mamata has been able to stand. We in Goa are also going through difficult times. We need such fighters. I would like all the larger parties to come together and fight the next Parliament elections,” Faleiro said.
“I interacted with my constituents from Navelim; they are my family, and it was important to me to seek their blessings for a #NewBeginning. I might be old, but my blood is young. I am determined to change things. Let’s end this suffering of #Goans and bring a new dawn in #Goa,” he said.
The TMC’s entry into Goa’s political space is likely to further splinter an already crowded political space in Goa. Besides the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress, the Goa Forward Party with three MLA, the NCP, and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) with one MLA each are also vying for a slice of power.
Faleiro and several of his loyalists have also quit the party. He was a long-time Congress loyalist and was close to Sonia Gandhi. In 1979, Faleiro was elected to the Goa Legislative Assembly and has represented the Navelim constituency since then except for a ten-year gap between 2007 and 2017 when he lost his seat to rival Churchill Alemão of the Save Goa Front.