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‘Forming a parallel front to UPA is like strengthening BJP’

Two days after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the Congress questioning the existence of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) during her Mumbai visit, the State’s ruling Shiv Sena on Saturday said keeping the grand old party away from national politics would mean strengthening fascist powers.

“Mamata held political meetings in Mumbai. Her politics is not pro-Congress. She eliminated Congress, Left and BJP from Bengal. Despite that playing politics by keeping Congress out of national politics would mean helping fascist powers,” said an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana .

The editorial further added that one can understand BJP and Prime Minister Nasrendra Modi wishing the end of Congress as that’s their agenda. “But it is dangerous if those who are fighting against Modi and identical trends are wishing the same. Congress’ fall in the last 10 years is undoubtedly worrying. But plans to stop Congress from rising again and capturing its place are risky,” the editorial added.

‘Opposition needs UPA’

The editorial claimed that unless the Congress crosses 100 seats in Lok Sabha it will not change the scenario at the national level. “Mamata Banerjee’s question on UPA is a million-dollar one. But similarly, even the NDA is not in existence today. Modi’s party does not need NDA, but the Opposition needs UPA. Forming a parallel front to UPA is like strengthening BJP,” the editorial said, adding that UPA can be pushed ahead by keeping differences with Congress intact.

Commenting on the leadership of UPA, the editorial said that the work being done by Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi is a real work of Opposition. “Leadership of UPA will be decided in the times to come, but it is important to raise the option first,” it said.

Ms. Banerjee, during her visit to Mumbai, had met Sena leaders Aaditya Thackeray and Sanjay Raut. She could not meet party chief, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, due to his health problems.

The editorial also slammed the G-23 leaders within the Congress questioning what any of those leaders did to improve present situation of the party. “Each and every person in this group enjoyed power through Congress. What did they do to improve the party’s situation? Isn’t it an excellent coincidence that BJP’s wish of Congress not doing well in 2024 is echoed by these leaders?” it said.

‘Alliance compulsion’

Trinamool leaders hit back, with Sougata Roy saying the Sena itself was part of the BJP-led NDA. “It joined hands with the NCP and the Congress for the CM’s chair,” the TMC MP said.

Echoing him, TMC’s Bengal general secretary Kunal Ghosh said the Shiv Sena comment is out of its “alliance compulsion” in Maharashtra. “We are cobbling up an opposition front as the Congress has failed to do so,” he said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 1:42:56 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/forming-a-parallel-front-to-upa-is-like-strengthening-bjp/article37848575.ece