West Bengal Chief Minister and the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mamata Banerjee met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on the third day of her Mumbai visit on Wednesday. Both the leaders have called on parties to unite against the BJP. Mamata Banerjee has also urged anti-BJP parties to come together and provide a strong alternative against the PM Narendra Modi-led central government. “We must have a strong force against fascism and this could not be done by one single party,” she said after meeting with Sharad Pawar.
The TMC supremo also indicated that there might be a new coalition against the BJP in the next general election in 2024. “What is UPA? There is no UPA,” she replied on whether Sharad Pawar will lead the opposition parties’ alliance.
Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar, whose party is in alliance with the Congress and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, also said that the country needs a strong “alternative leadership”. The NCP chief said, “Be it Congress or any other party, the thing is that those who are against BJP, if they’ll come together, they’re welcome.”
“Today, my colleagues and I had a long chat with her. Her intention is, in today’s situation like-minded forces have to come together at the national level & set up collective leadership,” said Pawar. Shiv Sena leaders Sanjay Raut and Aaditya Thackeray also met with Mamata Banerjee.
Mamata Banerjee, who recently skipped meeting with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on her Delhi visit, also said that her party will fight in Goa to wipe out the BJP from the state. “If Congress can fight in Bengal, why can’t I do so in Goa,” she said.
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Reacting to the TMC supremo’s meetings with the several different party leaders, BJP leader Dilip Ghosh said, “I don’t think anything will happen with these meetings. How will Mamata Banerjee support Shiv Sena? What do they have there? There is a distance of 3,000 km between them. It is all a show.”
Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant commented on the speculation of Mamata Banerjee leading the opposition in 2024, and said, “The Opposition does not need a face to be united, ideas are needed. First, ideology should match, then anyone can be the Opposition.” He further added, “We also feel that Uddhav Thackeray should become the Prime Minister of the country. What is wrong with it?”