“The party is unlikely to win more than two seats in the state.”
New Delhi: The All-India Trinamool Congress (AITC), which has pushed to establish itself as a credible option in Goa, has so far received a “less than encouraging” response from voters in the state. All 40 seats in the Goa Assembly will go to the polls in less than 90 days. According to independent political observers and contributions generated by internal polls, the party is unlikely to win more than two seats in the state. The Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) policy advisory group – which has worked for the TMC in Goa for the past month – interacted with the state’s people to generate feedback and design their strategies accordingly. Sources familiar with the contributions generated by these polls told the Sunday Guardian that to this day citizens of the state still do not accept the TMC as a serious choice in a state where there are more than five political parties. who have dedicated a vote bank and dedicated following, including the BJP, Congress, Goa Forward Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Nationalist Congress Party.
According to local political observers, the chances of the AAP doing better than TMC are all the greater since unlike TMC, which “air-dropped” into the state just days before the election, the AAP is active and working for over two years now and their volunteers have been very active during the time of Covid-19 helping people which has led to the building of a positive perception of AAP.
However, according to TMC sources, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has high hopes that the party will secure at least 4-6 seats and ultimately have a say in forming the next government. This hope, sources added, was based on contributions I-PAC shared with Banerjee. Banerjee, who visited Goa the last week of October, will travel to the state again in mid-December where she will participate in political rallies with de facto party leader and national secretary general Abhishek Banerjee who manages the operational part of the Goa Campaign.
âThere is no momentum. Two major hurdles we face are the fact that we started our campaign relatively late because of which people still don’t take us as a serious option; the trust factor is absent. Second, the ‘pro-minority’ perception which is one of the USPs for TMC in West Bengal, turns out to be a negative factor here, âa source familiar with the comments and the results of the investigation told The Sunday. Guardian.
The BJP, meanwhile, is working to ensure that this particular perception of TMC spreads in Goa through social media campaigns. According to the 2011 census, of the state’s total population of 15 lakh, only 1.22 lakh or 8% were Muslims with Hindus (66%) and Christians (25%) making up the bulk.
The TMC is counting on the goodwill of former Congress leader Luizinho Falerio, who served as CM and seven times MP for Navelim, in south Goa. He was inducted into the TMC as the Face of Goa in September and then sent to the Rajya Sabha.
Senior Goa-based journalist Arun Sinha, who has covered the state for three decades, said the TMC was unlikely to have a big impact in this election “Goa is not communal and rejects all politics extreme. The concerns of voters here are different from those in Bengal; there is no clear division on the municipal lines. Faleiro is their core, but he doesn’t have a very strong or magnetic influence. He had lost the last election. The only advantage he has is that he cultivated personal votes that could help him in this election, âSinha told the Sunday Guardian. The TMC is also in talks with Prasad Gaonkar, an independent MP from Sanguem. According to observers, if he joins the TMC, his record could touch two.