I remember meeting Luizinho Faleiro for the first-time it is palatial bungalow in South Goa. He was so excited to introduce me to Green Tea, assuming I never had Green Tea in my life before.
Until we got down to talking and then he realized that I knew more about teas and other aspects of politics, business and social issues than he wrongly ascertained.
I remember a conversation I had some five-years later to our first meeting, we were both on an Indigo flight from Delhi to Goa.
He was a little upset that he did not get the window-seat on the first row but the aisle seat.
The window seat my travel agent had reserved for me. So he kept complaining about the failure to get the window seat booked and asked me how did I manage to reserve it, since as a political leader, he expected AICC to have some clout to reserve a seat for him, instead of me.
I smiled at him. Got up and said, Mr Faleiro, you can sit on the window seat if you like, it does not bother me. But it certainly seems to be bothering you.
On the plane ride for Delhi to Goa, he was singing praises of Sonia Gandhi and the Congress. Such was the praise he showered on Sonia Gandhi, it seemed that even Jesus Christ would not object to her canonization. In fact, for a moment, I thought, she would be the next candidate from India for Sainthood after Mother Theresa.
So I heard him attentively. I normally prefer not interrupt people worshipping their saints.
In another conversation with me when we meet again in Delhi at the Goa Niwas, he spoke of the intelligence, dedication and determination of Rahul Gandhi and the Indira Gandhi-like qualities of Priyanka Gandhi. And yet again, I listened attentively.
He was an out and out Congress loyalist. It was under the Congress banner that he grew in social stature and wealth in Goa. Like most Congress leaders the mark of corruption is stamped on joining the party. He had a fair share of corruption charges against him, especially involvement along with Pratapsingh Rane, Alexio Sequeira in the SEZ land allotment scam.
Today, he tendered his resignation as MLA from Congress to the Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly. He is too join Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC). Even before he joined, he has decided to initiate the canonization process of Mamata Banerjee in Goa and India.
He told the media, “I am a Congressman for the last 40 years. I will continue to be a Congressman and part of the Congress family. The family has to come together to fight Narendra Modi. Mamata is the one who has given fight to Narendra Modi and his juggernaut. Mamata formula has won in the West Bengal. She has been able to stand up, she is a street fighter. Goa is also going through difficult times. We need such fighters who are in the same wave length, same party, same ideology, principles and programs. Country needs leader like Mamata, I am a Congressman I would like larger picture of all the Congress parties to come and fight next parliamentary election. I would do everything to achieve this dream. It is definitely my dream.”
People in Goa refer to Faleiro as a sly fox and completely self-centered. I think he assumes himself to be a man of immense intelligence. Unfortunately, his move into TMC and aim to bring about a revolution in Goa and India to take on Narendra Modi, will be a repeat of the debacle of another good but self-conceited politician Dr Wilfred D’Souza in the Goa Assembly Elections 2012. He too joined TMC.
I have no doubt that the hangars in the Congress and the hangars of Faleiro will follow him to the TMC closet from the Congress closet. That is expected. Faleiro is a political leader that prefers ‘Yes Men’ and ‘Yes Women’. He does not appreciate people challenging his authority or intelligence.
TMC will fail in Goa simply because it is a car without a number plate. Faleiro is not the number plate that will win TMC the election. He is at best air in the tires, that will help TMC move its car around but it will still continue to have no legitimacy. In fact, Faleiro himself will not win, if he contests in his constituency in the upcoming election without the Congress.
Faleiro never build the Congress in Goa. He did however, help regroup Congress supporters during the Goa Assembly Elections 2017 but it got wasted fighting over the Chief Minister chair, which he rightly deserved but did not get. Congress supporters in Goa allowed for Faleiro to grow into a political leader of repute. Without the Congress, Faleiro’s personal supporters in his own constituency will not be more than 1000.
Faleiro joining TMC is advantage BJP and a final nail in the coffin of Congress.
Faleiro, it appears has fallen for Mamata Banerjee’s charm and has decided to ditch the charms of his Saint Sonia Gandhi.
Unfortunately, his reason that we are all a part of the Congress family, is akin to divorcing one sister to tie a knot with another sister and then saying I am still a part of the same family. Faleiro like most politicians has his own insane logic.