mamata: ‘There is no UPA now’: Mamata’s swipe at Congress after meeting Sharad Pawar | India News

NEW DELHI: West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday took another swipe at the grand old party as she questioned the existence of Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) that ruled the country for 10 years from 2004 to 2014.
“There is no UPA now,” Mamata said after her meeting with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar.
The TMC chief’s statement seems to be directed against the Congress, whose president Sonia Gandhi is the chairperson of the UPA. It also indicates growing acrimony between the two parties.
With the grand old party taking a severe electoral drubbing in the last two Lok Sabha elections, the relevance of the UPA has been in question for some time.
Mamata has been meeting leaders of various opposition parties to stich together an alliance of regional parties after her resounding victory against the BJP in West Bengal assembly elections.
Mamata, who had met Shiv Sena leaders on Tuesday, today met Sharad Pawar. The two leaders discussed ways to provide a strong opposition and a collective leadership to take on the BJP.
“We have to provide a strong alternative. Our thinking is not for today, but for election. This has to be established and with that intention she has visited us. We had a very positive discussion,” Pawar said after the meeting.
“Sanjay Raut and Aaditya Thackeray had met her. Today, my colleagues and I had a long chat with her. Her intention is that in today’s situation like-minded forces have to come together at national level and set up collective leadership,” Pawar added.
When asked if Congress would be a part of this strong alternative, Sharad Pawar said: “All those opposed to the BJP are welcome to join us. There is no question of excluding anyone.”
Mamata has already dropped enough hints that her party will not accept Congress’s leadership for opposition alliance.
Her relations with the Congress have been strained with the Trinamool Congress poaching several leaders from the grand old party.
She has been pitching for a united opposition front without any lead role for the Congress.
“If all regional parties come together, then it will be easy to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party,” Mamata said earlier today during an interaction with civil society members in Mumbai.
The Congress reacted strongly to the idea of being kept out of the opposition alliance.
“Everybody knows the reality of Indian politics. Thinking that without Congress anybody can defeat BJP is merely a dream,” said Congress general secretary KC Venugopal.
(With inputs from agencies)



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