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'I will do whatever my people ask me to do'

January 17, 2022 16:57 IST

'After joining, I realised the TMC in no way could bring a 'new dawn' in Goa.'

IMAGE: Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco joins the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata, December 21, 2021. Photograph: ANI Photo

The political musical chairs drama continues to play out for the umpteenth time in Goa.

Former Curtorim MLA and working president of the Goa Congress Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, who quit the Congress and joined the Trinamool Congress in December 2021, has now quit Mamata Banerjee's fledgling party in Goa and decided to rejoin his parent party all because of "people's feeling" and "people's demand".

Ask Lourenco about his party-hopping adventures in the coastal state and he has one answer: "This is what the people of Goa and my supporters want and I will do what my people say."

Speaking with Prasanna D Zore/ over the phone, the three-time Congress MLA says, "There were some things happening in Congress that I was not happy about."

Ask him to expand what those 'some things' that made him unhappy about Congress and he quit, he quips, "My people were not happy about some things and so to respect their feelings I quit."

The 53-year-old MLA said he was drawn towards Mamata Banerjee's TMC, because "I believed in the TMC's promise of bringing in a 'new dawn' in Goa politics."

Then why did you quit TMC within a month? "After joining I realised that it was just an empty slogan and the TMC in no way could bring that 'new dawn' in Goa."

"Wherever I went my people told me that my entry into the TMC will split the votes and benefit the third party (the BJP), which has wrought destruction upon Goa's development and progress," he says.

"A peaceful government will not come to power in Goa. So, I had to heed to what my people strongly believe, and I quit the TMC."

Isn't one month too short a time to figure out that TMC cannot bring in a new dawn in Goa?

Lourenco responds: "I listen to what people of Goa want. They are the ones who made me."

Did he think it hard before making a decision to rejoin Congress?

"I have left everything to my people. My people have asked me to join the Congress so that votes are not split and so I will be joining the Congress. I will do whatever my people ask me to do."

"I just need some time," he adds.

Lourenco is confident that Congress will form the next government in Goa and he -- "along with my people" -- will take "maximum efforts" and everything possible to ensure there is no three-way vote split.

Ask him what those maximum efforts would be and he says: "Give me some time to chalk out the next plan. You will soon know."

"That's why I want everybody to come together; that's also the view of my people," he says.

On the reasons why Goa is seeing an exodus of MLAs from the BJP, more so Christian MLAs, Lourenco says, "This BJP government is filled with empty people. They talk big and don't act at all. Everybody in the state is unhappy with the BJP."