Country needs a leader like Mamata to take on PM Modi: Former Goa CM
Panaji/Kolkata: Former Goa Chief Minister and Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro resigned as a member of the state Legislative Assembly on Monday and is likely to join the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC).
Minutes before resigning, Faleiro praised West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC head Mamata Banerjee and said the country needs a leader like her to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"I, Luizinho Faleiro, hereby tender my resignation of my seat in the house w.e.f. 27th Sep 2021. I thank the people of #Navelim for placing their trust in me & look forward to their continued support in all future endeavors. #Goa #newbeginnings," Faleiro tweeted on Monday.
He handed over a terse resignation letter to Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar shortly after noon.
With his resignation, the Congress strength in the 40-member House has been reduced to four.
The Congress had won 17 seats in the 2017 state Assembly elections, but later a number of MLAs resigned from the party. In July 2019, 10 MLAs quit the party and joined the ruling BJP.
Shortly before resigning, Faleiro said the country needs a leader like Mamata Banerjee to counter Narendra Modi.
"I met certain leaders, they said yes, you are a Congressman, I am a Congressman for last 40 years, I will continue to be a Congressman and part of Congress family...," Faleiro told reporters at his private residence in Margao, about 30 km from Panaji.
"This family has to come together to fight Modi. Mamata is the one who has given a fight to Narendra Modi and his juggernaut," he said.
He further said the 'Mamata formula' has won in West Bengal.
"She has been able to stand up...she is a street-fighter," the 70-year-old leader said.
Faleiro said Goa is also going through difficult times.
"We need such fighters who have the same wavelength, ideology, principles and programmes. The country needs a leader like Mamata," he said.
"I am a Congressman, I would like larger picture of all the Congress parties (which have split from the Congress) to come together and fight the next parliamentary election. I would do everything to achieve this dream. It is definitely my dream," he said.
Faleiro, who was a long time Congress loyalist and known to be close to Sonia Gandhi, was also a member of the All India Congress Committee. He is understood to be peeved with the decision of the party high command to stick with incumbent Congress president Girish Chodankar.
Amid rumours of him joining the TMC, Faleiro had on Sunday said he would make an 'important announcement'.
TMC leader Derek O'Brien told PTI on Saturday in Goa that the party will be contesting the upcoming Assembly polls and they were in touch with several local leaders.
He had said the TMC will announce its Chief Ministerial candidate soon.
Meanwhile, former Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLA Lavu Mamlatdar on Monday said he would be joining the Trinamool Congress and was keen to contest the 2022 Goa Assembly polls from Madkaim, a stronghold of MGP chief Sudin Dhavalikar.
Mamlatdar, a former police officer who represented Ponda seat between 2012 and 2017, said he had been in discussions with the Mamata Banerjee-led party since September 1 and would be joining it formally in Kolkata on Tuesday. "I would like to contest the 2022 Assembly polls from Madkaim," he told reporters.