Goa's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA, Churchill Alemao, is set to join the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday, December 13, following his visit to Kolkata two weeks back.
Churchill will be initiated into the TMC in the presence of Mamata Banerjee, the TMC supremo, who arrived in Goa on Sunday.
Alemao, who previously served as the Chief Minister of Goa for a brief period, ran for the Lok Sabha in 2014 on a TMC ticket from the South Goa parliamentary constituency.
On Monday morning, Alemao is expected to formally submit his resolution to the Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly.
Alemao will be the second MLA in Goa to join the TMC after Luizinho Faleiro – now a TMC Rajya Sabha MP, who resigned from the Congress Party and as an MLA in September.
Alemao, an MLA from Benaulim in South Goa, who owns the Churchill Brothers Football Club, wants his daughter, Valanka, to run for the Navelim seat, which was formerly held by Faleiro, in the forthcoming assembly elections. Valanka had gone to Kolkata with Churchill in late November.
Earlier this month, Alemao stated that he was certain to contest in the next assembly elections, but that he had not yet decided which party he would represent. He had previously stated that he would not stand for elections in an alliance with the Congress party, even if the NCP requested him. However, he also added that only (NCP supremo) Sharad Pawar or Mamata Banerjee could defeat the BJP.
Alemao's switch from the NCP to the TMC follows the December 1 meeting in Mumbai between the leaders of the two parties.
Incidentally, Alemao is a co-accused in the Louis Berger bribery case, along with Digambar Kamat, the Congress' Chief Minister from 2007 to 2012, during which time Alemao served as PWD Minister. He was in jail for a month before being released.
The TMC has also forged a pre-election coalition with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), which has one member in the current Goa Legislature.