"There is no UPA," says Mamata and targets Congress again in Maharashtra

Published : December 01, 2021 21:00 IST

NCP president Sharad Pawar with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after a meeting at his residence, in Mumbai, on December 1. Photo: KUNAL PATIL/PTI

Mamata, in reply to a question whether Pawar should be made the chairman of the UPA, said, "What UPA? Today there is no UPA. We will sit together and decide."

Continuing in her campaign to emerge as an alternative force against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee once again trained her guns at the Congress, saying that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) no longer exists. Addressing the media after a meeting with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar in Mumbai on December 1, Mamata, in reply to a question whether Pawar should be made the chairman of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance), said, "What UPA? Today there is no UPA. We will sit together and decide."

Both Mamata and Pawar told the media that the need of the hour was "a strong alternative force". To a question whether it was possible to leave the Congress out of the equation, Mamata took another swipe at the Grand old Party saying, "There should be a strong alternative consisting of those who can fight. What can we do if someone does not want to fight? We want people who are willing to fight in the field." Pawar pointed out that Mamata Banerjee’s victory over the BJP in West Bengal was because of the effort put in by Trinamool workers in the field.

Earlier in the day, Mamata did not let go of an opportunity to lash out at the Congress at a meeting with eminent civil society representatives in Mumbai. "If somebody is afraid and unable to take any decision, and has allowed the BJP to become more and more powerful, we will not tolerate that. We have been watching for the last eight years…. We are not contesting in Uttar Pradesh because we do not want any division of votes; but if Congress is contesting against me in Bengal, then can I not contest in Goa? I have seen how they were elected in Goa, yet BJP formed the government…. You have to be in the field. If you are not in the field, the BJP will bowl you out. You have seen how the farmers have won the battle," she said. She accused the Congress of being the "TRP of the BJP", and urged members of civil society to form a pan-India "advisory committee" to guide political parties. "You the civil have a very big role to play…. Political parties will do their jobs but you are the pillars of society. Advise us, guide us, give us your suggestions," she said.

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