West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (Illustration: Moneycontrol)
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is planning to visit Goa, which has triggered speculation that the Trinamool Congress is looking to take on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the poll-bound state.
Assembly elections are due in Goa in February 2022. The state has 40 assembly seats and currently ruled by the BJP.
The TMC is planning to make its presence felt in the coastal state, reported News18. A team of 200 people from Prashant Kishor’s Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) is working in the state for the party, said the report citing sources.
After victory in West Bengal Assembly elections over the BJP, the TMC have repeatedly talked about the plans to expand the party’s influence in other parts of the country ahead of the 2024 parliamentary polls, as per the report. The party may send a team of its MPs to Goa to give the ground report.
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Banerjee’s nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee is also likely to visit Goa, said the report. The party supremo will also visit the state later to begin the poll campaigning, it said.
Asked about the reason behind entering Goa, the sources told the publication that the party is rooted in Bengal and doesn’t have any presence in the coastal state.
Talking about the strategy of TMC, the sources said that the party will tell the people of Goa that they can oust the BJP only if they vote for it. The party has been trying to propagate the perception across the country that only Mamata Banerjee can stop the BJP, they said.
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Meanwhile, Delhi’s ruling party Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also looking to win the upcoming assembly polls and gain power in Goa.
Party national convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was in Mapusa town on September 21. Talking to reporters, Kejriwal said if voted to power in Goa in the 2022 polls, his party will ensure that 80 percent of jobs, including in the private sector, will be reserved for local people. He further said that at least one unemployed person from each family in Goa would be given a government job and jobless youths will get a monthly allowance of Rs 3,000 till they find jobs.
This was the second visit of Kejriwal to Goa in the last two months. In his earlier visit in July, the Delhi chief minister had assured free electricity up to 300 units per month to people in Goa if his party forms the government after polls.