MUMBAI: Hitting back at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after she took veiled swipes at Congress leadership and called for fighting the BJP unitedly, Congress leaders on Wednesday said the political party that continues to think about its gains and personal ambitions cannot take on BJP just by criticising Rahul Gandhi.
Congress also said that such posturing will prove counter-productive and help the ruling party at the Centre. Speaking at a function here earlier in the day, the TMC supremo, who is currently in Mumbai, said continuous endeavour is necessary for politics.
"You can't be abroad most of the time," she said, in a veiled dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
During her interaction with members of civil society, Banerjee claimed she had suggested to the Congress that an advisory council of prominent personalities from civil society be set up to give a direction to the opposition, but it was "in vain".
After meeting NCP chief Sharad Pawar earlier in the day, Banerjee said there was "no UPA" now.
Attacking Banerjee without taking her name, Congress Legislative Party Leader and Maharashtra Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said the country is well aware of the fight the Congress has put up against the "oppression" of the BJP and the Central government.
"No individual party can fight against BJP by directly or indirectly criticising Rahul Gandhi if that party continues to think about its political gain and personal ambitions. The Congress is the only viable option for the country and the democracy," he said in a statement.
Thorat said Congress had fought fearlessly against the BJP government in the last seven years under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
"He and his entire family were subjected to personal attacks by BJP and other parties. Defamatory campaigns were carried out against him, but Rahul Gandhi did not back down.
"Becoming the voice of the poor people, he continued to fight with all his strength against the Modi government and the people of the country have accepted his stand today," the former Maharashtra Congress chief said.
Another senior leader and state PWD Minister Ashok Chavan said Congress and its leadership need no certification for its commitment towards the democracy and Constitution.
He said Congress' tireless struggle against the policies of the Union government will go on. "India has seen and supported the aggressive stand the Congress had taken for the withdrawal of the anti-people law of land acquisition and three black farm laws.
In future also, this fight for the rights of common people will continue under the able and strong leadership of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and our leader Rahul Gandhi," Chavan said in a statement.
The former Maharashtra chief minister alleged that the Centre had been using the divide and rule policy for the last seven years to split the Opposition.
"In such a scenario, it becomes the responsibility of all non-BJP parties in the country not to indulge in politics that supports this (divide and rule) policy of the Centre," he said.