Unite against BJP: Mamata tells parties ahead of Goa visit
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is set to visit Goa next week. The trip comes as Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) is looking to make a political entry in the poll-bound state. Banerjee has appealed to Opposition parties to join hands to defeat the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its "divisive agenda" in Goa.
Why does it matter?
- Banerjee's visit comes just months before elections to the 40-member Goa Legislative Assembly.
- Goa is witnessing a multifaceted political battle with the entry of the TMC and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) besides the BJP and the Opposition Congress.
- The TMC is also trying to expand its national footprint which will depend significantly on its performance in the Goa polls.
Goans have suffered enough: Banerjee
"As I prepare for my maiden visit to Goa on 28th, I call upon all individuals, organizations, and political parties to join forces to defeat the BJP and their divisive agenda. The people of Goa have suffered enough over the last 10 years," Banerjee tweeted on Saturday. "Together, we will usher in a new dawn for Goa by forming a new government," she added.
TMC going all out in Goa
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. Poll strategist Prashant Kishor's Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), which manages the TMC, has also sent its team and set up an office in Goa as part of the preparations for the 2022 elections.
AAP: Another new entrant in Goa
The AAP is also preparing for the upcoming polls with fervor. The party's chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently visited Goa, promising free electricity and jobs for locals if it is brought to power.
TMC ropes in ex-Goa CM
Last month, long-time Congress leader and former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro had joined the TMC. He said he did not expect a revival of the Congress party. There was "absolutely no hope or will" to prevent the party's collapse, he said. Faleiro has since been appointed the TMC's national Vice President. Several other local leaders have also joined the TMC.
TMC dreams big
Led by Banerjee, the TMC defeated the BJP in this summer's West Bengal elections. Since then, the party has sought to aggressively campaign against the saffron party in other states, including Tripura and Assam. The TMC is looking to expand its national footprint with Banerjee, often touted as a potential candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 general polls.