Down to four MLAs, another exit likely for Goa Congress

After Luizinho Faleiro’s TMC move, Reginaldo Lourenco ‘in talks’ with AAP.

Left with only four MLAs in the 40-member Assembly after senior leader Luizinho Faleiro joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the Congress in Goa may be in for the exit of another legislator, it was learnt on Saturday.

Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, Congress MLA from Curtorim, may consider joining the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), sources said.

The AAP has been aggressively campaigning in the state for about a year, and TMC is a recent entrant in Goa’s electoral politics as the party tries to extend its footprint beyond West Bengal.

Lourenco could not be reached for a comment on Saturday.

Asked about Laurenco’s possible move to AAP, Dinesh Gundu Rao, AICC Goa desk in-charge, said: “All kinds of rumours (are) being spread by people who want to create more confusion. I don’t think I should be responding to wild rumours.”

Days ahead of Faleiro’s exit, the Congress had dismissed talk of his exit, calling it “rumours”.

In a social media post about work carried out in his constituency, Lourenco wrote on September 30: “Our work goes on, no politics matter, nor being sidelined by my party matters. Our people and our duty first. God’s blessings with us fully and we will take right decisions at the right time as dirty few leaders destroyed our progress…now time for good decisions no personal agenda but giving my people better productivity will be our motto…”

State convenor for AAP Rahul Mhambre said there was no “formal discussion” with Lourenco. “We have been holding discussions with like-minded people from other parties. Similarly, such a discussion may have been held with him (Lourenco). There is no formal decision on this,” he said.

Sources said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is AAP’s national convenor, is likely to arrive in Goa on Monday.

Meanwhile, former India footballer Denzil Franco and Goa Boxing Association vice-president Lenny D’Gama joined the TMC on Saturday. Trinamool MLA and Bengal minister Manoj Tiwary, a former India cricketer, and party MP Prasun Banerjee, a former India footballer, were present on the occasion.

D’Gama was India’s only boxing official at the recent Tokyo Olympics.

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