Leander Paes joins TMC in Goa ahead of polls
Former tennis player Leander Paes on Friday joined the Trinamool Congress party in Goa. He joined the party in the presence of its head and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with other leaders. His joining has come just months before Goa is set to go to polls early next year. Here are more details on this.
Why does this story matter?
The noteworthy joining comes just months before elections to the 40-member Goa Legislative Assembly are due to be held. Goa is witnessing a multifaceted political battle with the entry of the TMC and the Aam Aadmi Party besides the BJP and the Congress. The TMC is also trying to expand its national footprint which will depend significantly on its performance in the Goa polls.
Here are some pictures from the event
Panaji: Tennis champion Leander Paes joins TMC in Goa, in the presence of West Bengal CM and party chief Mamata Banerjee. pic.twitter.com/rfcDXGjSAa— ANI (@ANI) October 29, 2021
'He is my younger brother'
Banerjee, who had arrived in Goa on Thursday, said, "Happy to inform that Leander Paes joins TMC." "I am too happy. He is my younger brother. I know him since I was the youth minister and he was very very young," she said. Earlier in the day, actor Nafisa Ali had joined the party at the same event.
TMC eyeing 2022 Goa elections
The TMC has decided to field candidates on all the 40 seats in Goa. Senior party leaders have been camping in the state in phases since September as part of preparations for the elections. Last month, long-time Congress leader and former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro had joined the TMC. He has since been appointed the party's national Vice President.
Banerjee's appeal to Opposition parties
Before her Goa visit, Banerjee had appealed to Opposition parties to join hands to defeat the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "The people of Goa have suffered enough over the last 10 years...Together, we will usher in a new dawn for Goa," she said.
TMC looking to increase national footprint
Led by Banerjee, the TMC had defeated the BJP in this year's West Bengal elections. Since then, the party has sought to aggressively campaign against the saffron party in several other states, including Tripura and Assam. The TMC is looking to expand its national footprint with Banerjee often being touted as a potential candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the 2024 general elections.