Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday termed today’s meeting between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar as a “pre-meditated conspiracy” to weaken the grand old party and alleged the TMC leader had become “BJP’s oxygen supplier.”
Chowdhury was responding to Mamata Banerjee’s statement on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) today made during her three-day visit to Maharashtra’s capital city during which she met with leaders of the Nationalist Congress Party and Shiv Sena.
Speaking to ANI, the leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha said: “When the BJP is struggling across India and their situation is worsening every passing day, then Mamata Banerjee has decided to supply oxygen to them. Mamata Banerjee has become BJP’s oxygen supplier. So, BJP is happy with her,” Chowdhury said. The West Bengal chief minister addressing reporters in Mumbai had said “What’s UPA? There’s no UPA now.”
To this Chowdhury said: “Does Mamata Banerjee not know what UPA is? I think she has started the madness. She thinks the entire India has started chanting ‘Mamata, Mamata’. But India does not mean Bengal and Bengal alone does not mean India. Her tactics in the last polls in the state are slowly getting exposed.” The Congress leader further alleged that a political game of communal polarisation was being played jointly by the BJP and TMC in West Bengal was now being revealed.
“BJP changed its stance over NRC (National Register of Citizens), it ended with polls. Portraying the threat of NRC, they wanted to gain benefit in the polls. Therefore the BJP agrees with whatever Mamata Banerjee says,” Chowdhury said. “Today her strength has increased because Modi ji is standing behind her. So, she is making all efforts to weaken Congress,” he said.
“Sharad Pawar did not say anything against Congress. He is a senior leader. We respect him a lot. It is a pre-meditated conspiracy of Mamata Banerjee to entrap Sharad Pawar and people of other parties and show an alternate to BJP. This is benefiting BJP the most,” he added. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole claimed that only under the leadership of the grand old party, the battle against BJP can be fought.
“The state-level parties must come together under the leadership of Congress to end the regime of BJP,” Patole said. In Maharashtra, Congress is in alliance with the Shiv Sena and the NCP. Responding TMC leader’s “there is no UPA” statement, BJP MP Khagen Murmu said “This is all being done to loot the people of India.”
Moreover, Sharad Pawar after his meeting today with Banerjee in Mumbai, said that there is a need for like-minded political forces to come together to provide a “strong alternative” at the national level. Pawar spelled out his strategy to counter the BJP in 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Ties between Congress and the TMC had turned frosty recently. Mamata Banerjee during her recent visit to Delhi did not meet Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi.