TMC chief Mamata Banerjee has made acquiring Goa’s 40 assembly seats almost a prestige issue. She has apparently poured money to acquire political assets — namely three sitting MLAs, two belonging to the Congress — Luizinho Faliero and Alexio Reginaldo Lourenco, and one from the NCP, Churchil Alemao, ahead of the Goa assembly elections slated next year. With Alexio’s exit, only two of the 17 MLAs elected in 2017 are left with the party. Going against its grain of procrastination, the Congress for the first time decided to go ahead with finalizing candidates and released the first list of eight candidates last week, just to prevent TMC from poaching its leaders. It was apparently former Union Minister P Chidambaram’s idea to halt the erosion of rank and file. Sources say the TMC was so livid with the Congress’ first list that poll strategist Prashant Kishor even boasted to a Goa leader that he would poach a candidate even after the list was finalised by Rahul Gandhi. He did it with Alexio joining TMC. AICC in charge Dinesh Gundurao was aware of this development. Well, If you want to know why no effort was made to stop this MLA from Curtorim from leaving the party, it was because the AICC made no offer to finance the elections.