"Not Quitting Trinamool": Luizinho Faleiro On Withdrawing From Goa Contest

Mr Faleiro quit the Congress and joined the Bengal party as it launched its campaign for its debut election in Goa.

This morning, Luizinho Faleiro announced that he would no longer contest from Fatorda

New Delhi:

Trinamool Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro today denied rumours that he is quitting the party as his move to pull out of the Goa election contest triggered huge speculation.  

This morning, Mr Faleiro announced that he would no longer contest from Fatorda and a woman would be the Trinamool candidate instead.

"I announce my withdrawal as Goa Trinamool Congress candidate from Fatorda and hand over the baton to a young woman, a professional. That has been the policy of the party - to empower the women," Mr Faleiro said in Panaji.

The announcement led to speculation that Mr Faleiro is on his way out of the Trinamool, the party he joined last year after quitting the Congress.

"Rumours of my resignation from TMC are false, mischievous and malicious," Mr Faleiro said.

He explained that he had decided that instead of contesting the Goa election and limiting himself to one seat, he would campaign on all seats for the Trinamool Congress. 

"I've taken this decision after consulting our party's national chairman (Mamata Banerjee) because I would like to fight and campaign all over Goa for all the TMC candidates so that they can perform well," Mr Faleiro said.

Mr Faleiro quit the Congress and joined the Bengal party as it launched its campaign for its debut election in Goa. He was also sent to the Rajya Sabha by the Trinamool.

But he was named by the Trinamool for the Fatorda seat instead of his usual Navelim, where MLA Churchill Alameo's daughter Valanka Alameo has been named the candidate.

Fatorda is also the constituency of Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai, who is contesting the elections in alliance with the Congress. Mr Sardesai was earlier in talks with the Trinamool but those talks fell through as the Trinamool insisted on a merger. 

The Goa Forward Party has been attacking the Trinamool saying, "Goa is simply a lab for the TMC and Goemkars are guinea pigs," after political strategist Prashant Kishor said Goa was part of an experiment to figure it out what it takes to build a party at the national level. 

Reports say Mr Faleiro anticipated defeat from Fatorda and that is the real reason behind his move to withdraw from the contest. The veteran Goa politician, who quit the Congress in September, is also believed to have sensed that the Trinamool, a newcomer in Goa, is unable to make the impact it had hoped for.

But Mr Faleiro said he took the decision as he "could not do justice" in the last election. "My earlier experience says when I fought the election last time, we could not do justice to them. To replace me, we have a very able Flora, who will represent the Fatorda constituency," he added. 

The Trinamool has now nominated Seoula Avilia Vas for the Fatorda contest.
"We have chosen a woman who is a fighter, an activist and most important she is not connected to a political family. That is what Mamata Banerjee wants to do", said Mahua Moitra, who is in charge of the Trinamool's Goa campaign. 

Ms Moitra also said: "We are here not as the last moment option but a true and honest option to people of Fatorda who do not want BJP."

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