A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s remark of “no UPA left in the country,” several Congress leaders on Thursday reacted to say that there can be no viable Opposition without the party.
After a meeting with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar in Mumbai, Banerjee had made the remarks on Wednesday.
Taking it to Twitter, Kapil Sibal said that the “UPA without a Congress will be like an Opposition without a soul.”
Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh told ANI that the fight of a united Opposition has to be against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Our fight is against the ruling party. Those who want to join us, they can, those who don’t want to join us are free to do so,” he said, adding, “Can any political alliance formed against BJP be without the participation of Congress?”
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge was quoted as saying by ANI, that “We have tried to include them in various socio-political issues where the Congress made its name. The Opposition should not get divided and fight amongst themselves.”
Delivering a veiled slam at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Political strategist Prashant Kishor also took it to Twitter, saying that “Congress’s leadership is not the divine right of an individual especially when the party has lost more than 90 percent elections in the last 10 years.”
Kishor, however, did not dismiss the importance of the idea and the space that Congress represents, saying that it “is vital for a strong Opposition.”
“Let opposition leadership be decided democratically,” he added.
After meeting Pawar on Wednesday, the Trinamool Congress Supreme said: “A firm alternative course should be made as nobody’s fighting against ongoing fascism. Sharad Ji is the seniormost leader and I came to discuss our political parties.”
“A strong alternative should be given against the way fascism is going on in the country today. No one can do this alone. We will support those who are powerful in their own region,” she added.
Amid a cold war with the Congress, many took Mamata Banerjee’s remarks as a hint of an Opposition alliance without the party.
Pawar, however, later said that those who are against BJP, then they’re welcome.
“Be it Congress or any other party, the thing is that those who are against BJP, if they’ll come together, they’re welcome,” he said.
“Her intention is, in today’s situation like-minded forces have to come together at national level & set up collective leadership,” the NCP Chief added.