PANJIM: Reacting to some media reports, seemingly orchestrated from within, against a former Goa Chief Minister and Rajya Sabha member Luizinho Faleiro, some of the founding members of the TMC, who kick-started the party and have left say these reports “reflect the antics of a very small section of the TMC against those without whom the party wouldn’t even have taken off in Goa.”
These former key organisational members say they are “appalled “ at the blatant fictitious pot-shots made at their own Rajya Sabha member Luizinho Faleiro by TMC leaders “by twisting facts”. They also blame the de-facto one-man leadership of the TMC led by Derek O’Brien, “who is taking all decisions”, in the words of former MLA Lavoo Mamledar.
For secretary Vijay Poi who left the party, the narrative that Luizinho Faleiro defied the party and did not contest Fatorda is malicious. “I was one of the founding members along with Luizinhobab and am privy to this. He said that he would not like to contest from any constituency and play a part in campaigning throughout the State. He respectfully accepted the Rajya Sabha ticket which he didn’t seek. He saw it as an opportunity to raise Goa’s issues in parliament and he has,” he said. Poi went to ask, “I wonder whether it was TMC or I-PAC that was forcing him to contest. Was it to see the anti- BJP votes got split giving BJP the Fatorda seat?”
“Within weeks after raising some of the most important questions pertaining to Goa, in the Rajya Sabha, winning accolades across parties, Faleiro was “rewarded” by the one man Goa remote control who publicly says he’s in the background but works overtime to put his dictatorial stamp on the party. These holiday home politicians do no good for the party who does not even understand what Goa is all about”, said a former Goa MLA.
Meanwhile, Lavoo Mamledar, who was one of the founding members of the TMC and was committed to contesting on a TMC ticket said, “I have no hesitation in saying that the holiday home politician is Derek O’Brien. He keeps coming here, he is controlling whatever remains of the party- the best people have left anyway- and he took decisions which backfired and he puts the blame on others.”
Lavoo added, “They are talking about Luizinho not contesting from Fatorda. Why are they silent about how they eliminated credible and good candidates like Yatish Naik, Antonio Clovis Costa, and myself? It is systematic culling of good people. Derek O’Brien avoids talking about this.”
Reacting to a recent report on a website Lavoo Mamledar laughed sarcastically at one comment of O Brien where he said, “Among the mistakes was the alliance with a party with ‘right-wing’ in their DNA” referring to the MGP. “It was Derek who called me from Goa to Delhi for a meeting only to tell me that the TMC had decided to do an alliance with the MGP which I and many others were opposed to. It was the reason why people like me left the party. He was very much part of that (decision). TMC’s image as a secular party was destroyed right then.”
“If there’s one person mainly responsible for the TMC’s mess, it is Derek O’ Brien”, said the visibly upset Mamledar.
Churchill Alemao former Chief Minister and senior TMC leader were sharply critical as he said, “I made a mistake. Views of people who understand Goa are not taken. When Valanka and I met I-PAC earlier and Derek, no one was willing to hear what we wanted to say. He should know Goa politics. No committees are formed, then ad hoc committees are formed and when all key people have left, they form a committee with no one with any mass base. What party is this.” He also said that there is no connect with “Didi” at all. Why? We joined because of her, as a national alternative.”
Mamledar adds, “TMC only diluted Congress votes to help BJP. Whenever I mentioned to TMC leaders that the RG party is only attacking non-BJP parties and not the BJP, they were not prepared to even listen.”
He added, “Derek is totally controlling the party here, but why is it not functioning? Some ad hoc committees were formed, for long there was nothing, former MLAs and former Chief Ministers were sidelined because Derek wanted to control everything.”
Meanwhile, Mahesh Amonkar, who was the TMC candidate from Margao said, “We were fielded and left to ourselves. There is nobody in the party. Either there is no committee or ad hoc committee, and now they have a working committee. No longer in the party but I ask, who is?”
When contacted Rajya Sabha MP Luizinho Faleiro said, “Derek O’Brien is an honourable man. I have outlined important points for the party to take note of in my letter to Didi (Mamata Banerjee).”