MUMBAI: West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, who is aggressively pushing the idea of a non-Congress opposition front against the BJP, said on Wednesday that regional parties must come together as the Congress-led UPA is defunct.
“There is no UPA now,” she told reporters after meeting NCP chief Sharad Pawar at residence in Mumbai on Wednesday. “UPA is over. Now, the regional parties who are opposed to the BJP must come together and put up a joint fight,” she added.
Earlier in the day, Mamata held a meeting with activists and civil society members. Taking a swipe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, she said one can’t do politics in India by staying in a foreign country. “If a person wants to stay in a foreign country most of the time, how will it work in politics? If you are not on the ground, the BJP will defeat you,” she said.
While extending support to Mamata, Pawar asked NCP ministers to meet her to boost their fight against the BJP in Maharashtra. On who will lead the anti-BJP front, Pawar said it will be sorted out after the polls through consensus.
Meanwhile, the Congress pooh-poohed Mamata’s political moves. “Thinking that anybody can defeat the BJP without the Congress is merely a dream,” said party General Secretary K C Venugopal. Maharashtra PCC chief Nana Patole said only the Congress can give a strong alternative to BJP. On Tuesday, Mamata had met Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and Maharashtra environment minister Aaditya Thackeray. She could not meet Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray as he was hospitalised for a surgery.