A day after Mamata Banerjee hammered the last nail in the Congress’ coffin by denying the presence of UPA, Congress veteran Kapil Sibal gave an olive branch to the West Bengal Chief Minister, saying, “Without Congress, UPA will be a body without of the soul”.
Sibal said on Twitter that it was time to show opposition unity when Banerjee called for a “stronger alternative”, which would include “forces that are ready to fight on the field against fascist forces in the country”.
“What UPA? Now there is no UPA. We will sit and decide how to build a new block,” Banerjee said on Wednesday afternoon with NCP chief Sharad Pawar after his meeting with the leader at his south Mumbai bungalow, which lasted for about an hour and 10 minutes. Trinamool national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee was also present in the meeting.
Hitting out at the Congress, Banerjee told reporters outside Pawar’s residence, “We want a united opposition. But we cannot do this to a party that is not ready to fight on the field.”
Earlier in the day, he made a veiled remark against top Congress leaders, saying: “If you live abroad half the time, when will you do politics in India? You should be constantly associated with political activities.”
The blow-hot, blow-cold relationship between the TMC and the Congress began when Banerjee called on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to stitch together an alliance to take on the BJP stalwart in 2024. However, a string of leaders who jumped ship from the Congress to the Trinamool soured, with the Grand Old Party terming the TMC a party that cannot be trusted.
The Trinamool Congress also hit back saying that it was not interested in fighting a battle against the BJP.
Clearly, the TMC has a plan to take on the BJP and Congress is not a part of it. The Congress is also slowly getting used to the idea of being outside the purview of the opposition.