Shiv Sena MP and the party’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut on Saturday called for expanding the scope of UPA and said that more parties need to be brought under its fold to strengthen the opposition and take on the BJP and its dictatorial tendencies.
“As of today the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is strong. However in front of it even the UPA has to be united and transform itself into a powerful force. There are various political parties across states which have fought the BJP to come to power but they are not part of the UPA. We need to talk to them and invite them to be a part of the UPA,” Raut said.
The UPA formed in 2004 currently comprises 11 political parties. Over the years nine prominent parties have left its fold.
He said that a weak opposition was bad for democracy and said that all Opposition parties need to come together against the “dictatorial attitude” of the BJP run central government.
He also praised UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi saying that she had admirably led the UPA in difficult times. He also said that NCP chief Sharad Pawar was one of the leaders apart from Gandhi who had a pan India appeal and the clout to gather opposition together. “In this country along with Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar is such a leader who has acceptability in India and his name can also be considered,” Raut said when asked whether he was pitching for Pawar’s name to head the UPA.
The Sena chief spokesperson said non-BJP governments in various states are facing a lot of challenges like non-cooperation from the Central government in carrying out developmental works. “You all know what happened to the Metro car shed in Maharashtra. The same thing is happening in West Bengal too,” he said. He also said that opposition ruled states were being pressured by the centre through agencies like the CBI and ED. “Look at the type of situation that has been created on the borders of Delhi. Farmers are protesting for 32 days and they are not being given a hearing. Their protest is being mocked by the government. On the other hand we have the opposition which is in disarray. Many states which are run by opposition parties are not being allowed to function due to the pressure of the central government,” Raut said.
He said opposition parties are being targeted by Central agencies like the ED. “Shiv Sena leaders have also been given ED notices. All those whom the Central government can’t fight politically are being pressured through central agencies like ED,” Raut said.