All Eyes on Goa as Mamata Begins Poll Campaign Today, Rahul to Arrive on October 30 for Two-day Visit


Amid bitter relations between Congress and TMC, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will begin her election campaign for Goa on Thursday while Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will start his campaign in the state from October 30.

Relations between Congress and TMC have turned sour, even though the two parties tried projecting a united front after the Mamata Banerjee-led party won the West Bengal assembly election.

On Thursday, the TMC hit out at the Congress in its mouthpiece, Jago Bangla. An article published in the mouthpiece talked about how the TMC could not keep waiting for an alliance to happen with the Congress as the grand old party was not interested and was only seemingly active on social media platforms like Twitter.

Rahul will be in Goa for a two-day visit and will start with a speech at SPM Stadium. Mamata will interact with people from different communities.

The TMC has joined hands with Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) for its campaign in Goa. The two have done a lot of groundwork over the past five months. I-PAC’s Prashant Kishor has been camping in Goa for a number of days now. Mamata’s nephew and MP Abhishek Banerjee is also closely monitoring the party’s work in Goa. Party insiders said the stage was ready for Mamata to begin her campaign in Goa.

Mamata’s schedule for the Goa campaign is an interesting mix. She is likely to visit the fishing community in Malim Jetty to discuss their issues. She is also expected to visit the Anaz Bazar and talk to sellers.

Her motto is to reach out to the “common man of Goa”. Mamata’s knack for connecting with people will be used to its highest advantage during the campaign.

The TMC’s target is to oust the BJP from the state. The first person from Goa politics to join the TMC, however was a veteran Congress leader. Luizinho Faleiro, who was a close aide of Gandhi’s, joined the TMC last month.

Hence, the fight is not only between BJP and TMC, but also between TMC and Congress.

Last month, TMC leader Derek O’Brien told News18 that even in 2017, after getting more seats, the Congress could not form the government.

Though Mamata shares a good equation with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, she has never seen eye to eye with Rahul.

Mamata is also planning to visit Mangushi and other temples in Goa. She has also planned a visit to churches and will meet her party workers and interact with the media.

Instead of a massive rally, her aim is to hit the streets so as to interact with the public on their turf.

In Goa, 62 per cent population is Hindu while 28 per cent is Catholic. The rest is Muslim and, therefore, Mamata will address all communities and address their issues from their perspective, said a TMC leader from Goa.

The day former Goa CM Faleiro joined the TMC, the party’s activity increased in the state. The TMC idea is to confront the BJP in Goa through local leaders, and to turn Congress and AAP votes.

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