New Delhi/Kolkata: Under attack from the BJP, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee called up NCP chief Sharad Pawar which shows growing significance of the Maratha leader within the opposition ranks following the vaccum created by the Congress which is struggling with internal issues.
The NCP has claimed Pawar will be meeting the TMC chief and may travel to Kolkata for the same while during their telephonic conversation Banerjee and Pawar discussed the alleged attempts by the BJP-led Centre to destabilise opposition-ruled states.
Nawab Malik, chief spokesperson of NCP said, “Mamata Banerjee spoke about the Centre targeting her government ahead of polls in Bengal, especially with reference to three senior police officers being ordered to report to Delhi after an attack on BJP chief J P Nadda’s car near Kolkata recently and withdrawing government officials at will and infringing into the state’s rights. The way the BJP is misusing central agencies is not right.”
The Maratha leader who has cross party connections is trying to place himself as main opposition leader in the absence of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Sharad Yadav as both are not in good health and Lalu Yadav is in jail.
After the demise of Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi has also lost an able advisor who could reach out to anybody directly.Mamata and DMK are the pillars of opposition considering number of Lok Sabha MPs.
Shiv Sena is already with Pawar and SP’s Akhilesh Yadav is already fighting the BJP in UP. So it is the right time for the Maratha politcian to aim at opposition unity which his party has maintained.
Even though the clout of Congress has weakened considerably it is still the largest constituent in the UPA in terms of MPs and a pan-India presence.The other prominent members of the UPA are the NCP, DMK, RJD, JMM and the Shiv Sena, by association of leading the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.
Pawar on the other hand shares a good rapport with almost all the political parties and it will be interesting if he takes on the mantle from Sonia Gandhi and keeps the UPA legacy going.He has held top posts such as chief minister, Union minister and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
He may have parted ways with the Congress over Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origins but joined the UPA government in 2004 as Agriculture Minister.Pawar is also the architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra that upstaged the BJP.
“You never know what can happen in politics. Sharad Pawarji has vast experience, knowledge of the issues before the country and knows the pulse of the people,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said.