Trinamool to enter poll fray from Goa

 Former chief minister Wilfred D’Souza who was recently given the green signal to launch the Goa unit of the Trinamool Congress says he is in discussion with various regional parties and groups for pre-poll tie-ups with an eye on all the 40 constituencies in the state.

“Right now, all options are open, and we hope to contest all 40 seats in a tie-up with other parties,” D’Souza told Deccan Herald. D’Souza has accepted the offer to head Trinamool’s Goa unit .

An old hand at political manoeuvring, D’Souza was till recently the face of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Goa until a falling out with Sharad Pawar brought about a bitter parting of ways. Had it not been for the former chief minister, the NCP might have had no presence at all in Goa. Even today, Pawar’s party is at best a minor offshoot of the Congress here. But its nuisance factor and ability to cut into the “secular” vote has made the NCP an irritant the Congress cannot afford to brush off.

The Congress’s June 2002 poll defeat by the BJP taught it a bitter lesson. Making its debut in Goa with D’Souza at the helm, the NCP cost the Congress four seats in the Bardez taluka.

The United Goans Democratic Party took away another three seats in South Goa.
A pre-election alliance in 2007 had the Congress-NCP combine edge out the BJP.
That government led by Chief Minister Digambar Kamat has surprisingly survived a full five-year term despite serious allegations of corruption.

But can an ageing D’Souza help shore up the Trinamool Congress prospects in Goa?
The Trinamool Congress will at best add to the clamour.

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