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Kolkata: 

Abhishek Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, has announced that the Trinamool Congress will be in Goa soon. The party’s Derek O’Brien is already there along with colleague Prasun Banerjee.

This flurry of activity comes as the coastal state heads for Assembly polls next year. Amid all this is a strong buzz – only getting louder – that former Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro may join the party. The Congress leader is expected to address the media today to make an “important announcement”; he may announce his departure from the Congress and make the shift.

“I am in deep meditation. I am reading everything. One thing I will tell you (that) people of Goa are suffering, somebody has to stand up,” Mr Faleiro said on Sunday. “I will offer comments at an appropriate time,” the former chief minister added. 

Sources say, the Congress leader’s move was discussed last Thursday with Mr O’Brien, the Trinamool’s leader in the Rajya Sabha. But neither Mr Faleiro nor the Trinamool Congress has commented on the issue so far.

Goa may be a small state, but its politics is drawing players from across the country.

The Aam Aadmi Party, too, has set its eyes on it. It has already kicked off its programmes there following a visit by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal a few days ago.

Abhishek Banerjee, the Trinamool National General Secretary, has made it clear that, along with Tripura and Assam, his party was taking Goa seriously. Several state Congress leaders are believed to be in touch with the outfit, sources said.

“The Trinamool Congress today is not limited to Bengal alone. We have begun our work in Tripura (and) Assam. In the coming days the Trinamool will come to Goa as well. Get ready. We are prepared to fight them politically,” Mr Banerjee said at a rally while campaigning in Bhavanipur where his aunt and Bengal Chief Minister is contesting elections.

Goa goes to polls in 2022, along with Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and other states.

It is now ruled by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s BJP government. The Trinamool fought a bruising electoral battle with that party in West Bengal only recently in April-May.

Since then, the Mamata Banerjee-led outfit has sought to go aggressive against the BJP even in states other than West Bengal.

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