The Shiv Sena has criticised West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for dismissing the UPA, led by the Congress – the party that is part of the power-sharing agreement in Sena-ruled Maharashtra – during her recent visit to Mumbai.
Mamata on Wednesday said there was no UPA left and made a pitch for unifying opposition parties to take on the BJP at the Centre.
During her visit, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s son, Aaditya, and party leader and Rajya Sabha member, Sanjay Raut, called on Mamata.
Mamata also met Sharad Pawar, the chief of NCP, the third leg of the Maharashtra government coalition, and his core team, and also members of the civil society in the city.
The visit was considered important in view of the fact that it was assumed to be a build-up to opposition unity ahead of the 2024 general election. However, Mamata’s view that “there is no UPA” did not go down well with the Congress or its two allies in Maharashtra.
Now, the Sena has criticised her for the remark. “Although it is true that in West Bengal, she finished the Congress, the Left and the BJP, doing politics by keeping Congress away from national politics is like strengthening today’s state with a fascist tendency,” said an editorial published in Saamana, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece.
“One can understand that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP work for the defeat of the Congress since it is a part of their agenda. But if even those who are against Modi and the BJP wish ill of the Congress, then it is the biggest threat,” it said.
Later, Raut said that several parties in different states are fighting the BJP. “We feel that the UPA must be strengthened, aggressive…even Uddhav ji has said this several times… but then he has also asked where is the NDA.”
NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik also said there could not be a united opposition without the Congress, but parties outside the UPA camp should also be part of such an alliance.