Panaji, Feb 7 (PTI) A week before Goa goes to polls and multi-cornered contests shaping up, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday termed the Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as the parties of defectors. He also said that both these parties lacked a winning potential but they are dividing non-BJP votes.
Addressing a public meeting at the Nuvem assembly constituency, he said that voters should not waste their votes by supporting the AAP or the TMC rather they should choose the NOTA (None of The Above) option.
“These parties have suddenly descended on in Goa. They have no roots. Is there any grassroots worker that has risen from the ranks of the AAP and TMC?” he questioned.
Later, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also attended the public meeting in Nuvem in south Goa.
“Both AAP and TMC are parties of defectors. They have allowed the entry of defectors from other parties and fielded them as candidates,” he said.
The TMC and the AAP cannot win a sufficient number of seats to form a government in Goa, he said.
“What are they doing here? The plain and blunt truth is that they are dividing non-BJP votes. They are cutting into non-BJP votes,” he added.
The TMC, led by Mamata Banerjee, had earlier proposed an alliance of Congress and other parties to take on the ruling BJP in Goa polls.
Last month, Chidambaram had said that the TMC’s proposal for alliance in Goa was not considered as it poached Congress leaders.
Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP has also been trying to make inroads in Goa.
Chidambaram on Monday also took a swipe at the TMC which had announced that a Rs 20 lakh loan will be provided sans collateral at a four per cent interest rate if it comes to power in Goa.
“I challenge any TMC leader to show me one banker who will land you money without collateral and at four per cent interest amount,” the former Union finance minister, who is handling Congress’ election affairs in Goa, said.
He also questioned the AAP’s promise to give a Rs 3,000 monthly allowance for unemployed youth in Goa.
“Why the Arvind Kejriwal-led party is not extending the same benefits to people in Delhi?” he asked.
“Should the BJP government come to power for another term of five years or should it be replaced by another Congress? This is the only question that you have to answer on St Valentine’s Day, February 14,” Chidambaram said.
He said Goa is witnessing a wave of change to replace BJP.
“A wave is sweeping across Goa which says that a period of 10 years is enough for the BJP and we have to replace it with another government,” the Congress veteran said.
In the 2017 Assembly polls held in Goa, Congress won the maximum 17 of the 40 seats restricting the BJP at 13. However, BJP joined hands with regional allies to form a government under Manohar Parrikar (now deceased).
The number of Congress MLAs reduced to just two over the last five years as the bulk of its leaders have switched to other parties with at least two moving to TMC.
The Congress has already announced its pre-poll alliance with the GFP, while the TMC has a tie-up with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP). PTI RPS NSK NSK
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Source: The Print