Updated: December 5, 2021 5:51:45 am
Taking a dim view of Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s bid to sideline Congress and emerge as the key face of the Opposition against the BJP dispensation, Shiv Sena on Saturday said pushing the grand old party away from national politics and creating an Opposition grouping parallel to the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) would be akin to strengthening the BJP and “fascist” forces.
Barely a few days after Banerjee pronounced the demise of the Congress-led UPA, the Sena, in an editorial in party mouthpiece “Saamana”, said those who do not want the UPA should make their stand clear openly and not whisper as it would spark confusion.
Rising in defence of the Congress, the Sena said if even those fighting the BJP feel that the Congress should cease to exist, then this attitude is the “biggest threat”. It asserted that if there is no unity among the Opposition parties, then the talk of creating a political alternative to the ruling BJP should end.
“It is true that Mamata finished the Congress, Left and BJP from West Bengal. But keeping Congress out of national politics will amount to strengthening the current fascist forces. Itis understandable that (PM Narendra) Modi and his BJP feel that Congress should be wiped out. This is part of their agenda. But, the most dangerous threat is that even those who are fighting against Modi and his ideologies think that Congress should be wiped out,” the ‘Saamana’ editorial stated.
It remarked that Banerjee has asked a million-dollar question as to where is the Congress-led UPA in the country: “Not just the UPA, the NDA also does not exist. While Modi’s party does not need NDA today, the Opposition needs the UPA. Forming a parallel alliance to the UPA will amount to strengthening the BJP.”
The Sena noted that the Congress’s decline in the last 10 years was “worrisome”, but to not let it come
back on track and to “take that space of Congress is also fatal”.
The editorial in Saamana comes days after Banerjee’s visit to Mumbai, during which she had met its leaders, Aaditya Thackeray and Sanjay Raut.
In the course of this visit, after meeting Pawar, Banerjee had said that “there is no UPA now”. She had also taken potshots at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and his frequent visits abroad.
“After Mamata Banerjee’s Mumbai visit, opposition parties have swung into action,” the Saamana editorial stated. “There is a consensus on creating a strong alternative to BJP, but there is a lot of discussion on who is to be taken along and who is to be kept away from this alliance. But if there is no unanimity, nobody should talk about taking on BJP. Leadership is a secondary issue, but there should at least be a decision on coming together.”
The Sena also took on poll strategist Prashant Kishor over his recent tweet stating that the Congress’s leadership was not the “divine right” of an individual, especially when the party has “lost more than 90 per cent elections in last 10 years”. It stated: “Prashant Kishor has made this historic remark that Congress did not have the divine right to lead the Opposition. No one had got divine rights. Earlier, BJP was ridiculed that it was born to permanently sit on the Opposition benches, but despite the criticism the party has now scaled new heights.”
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