With Congress rejecting an offer by Trinamool Congress for an alliance for Goa assembly polls and the Aam Aadmi Party also fighting on its own, the incipient efforts to form a broad coalition and prevent division in the anti-Bharatiya Janata Party votes do not appear to be fructifying and have apparently made the ruling party's task less challenging in the coastal state.
The TMC, which is keen to leave a mark in its outing in Goa, had suggested a broad alliance but not much has moved on the proposal due to competing interests and apparent lack of faith between the opposition parties.
The Congress is peeved at the TMC 'poaching' its leaders.
The AAP, which could not perform well in the last assembly polls, is also keen to give an impressive performance on its own.
Political observers have said that a mahagathbandhan of various parties opposed to the BJP will help prevent division of votes but that appears unlikely now with less than a month left for assembly polls.
The Congress and the Trinamool Congress leaders looking after the affairs of their parties in Goa have taken potshots at each other amid suggestions for an alliance.
Mahua Moitra, who is Goa in-charge of Trinamool Congress, said on Saturday that the party was 'waiting for revert' from Congress and 'uninformed false bravado no substitute for rational thinking.'
Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao accused the TMC of dividing 'anti-BJP votes.'
Rao's response came after a tweet by Moitra in which she had said Trinamool Congress had made a 'formal and definitive offer to the Congress on Goa to defeat the BJP' two weeks ago.
She had also taken a dig at Congress leader P Chidambaram, who is senior election observer of the party, in Goa and said he should talk to the his party's leadership if he is not aware of details.
"The AITC already made formal and definitive offer to the INC on Goa to defeat the BJP. The INC leadership asked for time to revert. This was almost 2 weeks ago. If Chidambaram not aware of details he should talk to his leadership rather than making these statements," Moitra had said in her tweet.
Dinesh Gundu Rao, in his response to her tweet, also referred to an earlier tweet by party leader KC Venugopal and asked whose reply was she waiting for.
"Trinamool's brilliant strategy to defeat the BJP in Goa is weaken the Congress and divide the anti-BJP vote. If @kcvenugopalmp 's tweet wasn't reply enough, I wonder who from amongst Delhi leaders response is @MahuaMoitra awaiting. And Trinamool's brilliant strategy to defeat BJP in Goa is weaken Congress and divide the anti BJP vote. Whom does that help Moitraji?" Dinesh Gundu Rao said in a tweet.
Moitra, MP, later did not directly refer to Dinesh Gundu Rao but said she did not want to 'engage in further Twitter shadow boxing' with various Congress functionaries.
"Uninformed false bravado no substitute for rational thinking & maturity. Definitve offer between principals on table - waiting for revert. No desire to engage in further Twitter shadow boxing with various INC functionaries," she said.
Venugopal, who is the Congress general secretary (organisation), had said on January 10 that no discussions were held on an alliance with the Trinamool Congress and the Congress was confident of putting Goa back on the path to progress soon.
"The rumour in circulation that a possible alliance with the TMC was discussed by Shri @RahulGandhi in today's meeting is completely baseless & untrue. Let me assure that the Congress party is confident- we will put Goa back on the path to progress soon," Venugopal had said.
While the Congress has tied up with the Goa Forward Party, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party has an alliance with the Trinamool Congress.
Moitra had written earlier this month that the TMC would 'do everything possible to defeat the BJP in Goa' and had tagged the Congress, the GFP and the MGP in the tweet.
She later had said the AAP is also part of the anti-BJP space.
The BJP, which is fighting the polls without Manohar Parrikar, its tall leader in the state, has been taking digs at its rivals including the TMC and the AAP and pitching its record in governance.
"A lot of political tourists are in Goa asking for one 'Chance'. But people of Goa will not leave the future of their beloved state to chance. They will repose their trust in the only option that can provide stability & development : A BJP Government," BJP Goa said in a tweet.
Former CM of Goa and Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro had joined the TMC in September last year. He was later nominated to Rajya Sabha by the Trinamool Congress.
Elections will be held in Goa on February 14.