As Mamata Banerjee reaches Goa to strengthen TMC’s Goa unit ahead of the 2022 election, the ground situation still remains a complex concoction for opposition.
Ahead of her three-day visit to Goa, which will begin, Mamata Banerjee has called for a union of all opposition parties and legislatures to fight the divisive BJP. The news of TMC testing the Goan political currents comes after Abhishek Banerjee announcement of making Trinamool Congress a national party. He had hinted at setting up a TMC base across India to take BJP heads-on in the 2024 general polls.
Soon after the massive victory in Bengal polls, Abhishek Banerjee had clarified that this time expansion would be different and much strategized. The party will set up its base in all Indian states irrespective of their size and demography. AITC plunging in Tripura had followed next and roped in Susmita Dev to lead the campaign.
With the help of Prashant Kishore–led IPAC, the party has roped in veteran Congress leader and the former chief minister of Goa Luizinho Faleiro, who has openly admitted the role of IPAC and its team in the joining ceremony. Since then, new faces joining TMC in Goa has become a daily news matter.
TMC’s fortune in Goa
TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien has reportedly set up an office in Goan capital, Panjim.
The results of TMC’s changing future strategizing are showing up. The party till now has inducted two sitting legislators, including the former chief minister of Goa. The current primary opposition party, Congress has four legislators in a 40 member assembly house.
A decade ago, TMC had contested in civic polls but managed to get a little over a per cent vote share. This time things look different, but they are still dependent on how Congress plays its cards. TMC had already played the drums and had blown the trumpet ahead of Didi’s visit with the help of approximate 200 IPACers.
TMC MPs and local leaders have made an astounding effort to lay the field ready for Mamata Banerjee as she is expected to visit the local communities and talk with other leaders and parties. TMC has launched a campaign titled ‘People’s Chargesheet’, a summary of BJP’s not-so-happy moments as the ruling party of Goa.
News about tearing TMC posters and mutilating Mamata’s face has surfaced, and the leaders are blaming it on the cowardice of BJP leaders.
Big face, complex equation
Undoubtedly, Faleiro has made headlines and grabbed social media attention, but poll surveys have repeatedly predicted his declining popularity across the state. His popularity is said to be limited within his constituency, Navelim.
But state Congress leaders have also said that he is facing severe anti-incumbency issues in his constituency, which he won seven times. His closeness to the Gandhi family had given him the chief minister’s chair. According to political experts, it is unlikely that he will dive into electoral politics as a TMC Goa candidate.
The current situation of Goan politics is difficult and complex. It is unlikely that the opposition can nibble away BJP strongholds. The entire opposition unit is banking on secular votes. AAP had contested the last assembly polls and has got around a 6% vote share.
Arvind Kejriwal had appointed MLA Atishi Marlena, who is known for her contribution to education reforms in Delhi, as in charge of the Goa election. According to a top party leader cited by The Hindu, the AAP has been around for a while but has failed to make its presence felt.
The Congress did well on stopping its sitting MLA from joining AAP and have shut its doors for defectors. BJP, on the other hand, is aware that the opposition can’t feed on its vote share. Therefore, CM Pramod Sawant has gladly welcomed ‘political tourism’.
In the 2017 elections, the party had got a 32.5% share of the votes but managed to win 13 seats. Congress had won 17 assembly seats with a 28.4% vote share. But BJP managed to hijack MLAs and grab power. Over the years of rule, the saffron party has consolidated power with more defection from Congress and other local parties.
On the downturn, the party is in crisis for its covid mismanagement and deaths. The green camp had already submitted a letter to the governor seeking redressal and answers. In the run-up to the election, they will turn it into one of their prominent election agenda. BJP needs more than money and muscle power in the 2022 Goa polls as the party is already battling their inability to re-start mining, leading to economic backlogs.