Following the assembly elections held in five states, the debate for the formation of an opposition front against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has kicked off. Shiv Sena Member of the Parliament (MP) Sanjay Raut, on Sunday, said such a front is a need of the hour, but clarified that it cannot be formed without the Congress, as it is the soul.
“There is a need for an opposition front at the national level. Can such a front on the lines of Maha Vikas Aghadi running the government in Maharashtra be formed at the all-India level? I have discussed the issue at length with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar who is recovering from three surgeries. There will be some movement on this front,” said Raut.
“I do not say there is a need for a new leader, but the decision needs to be taken collectively. The front cannot be set up if everyone wants to be the leader. Three parties came together and formed the front led by Uddhav Thackeray. The Maha Vikas Aghadi has emerged as an ideal front at the country level. Therefore, for a similar front at the national level, all will have to come together. That's what I discussed with Pawar,” noted Raut.
The Shiv Sena MP said Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee strongly fought against BJP and won for the third successive term in West Bengal. He reiterated that the opposition front cannot come into existence without Congress’ involvement. “Congress performed well, but could not come to power in Assam. It has reported electoral victories in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Congress could not open its account in West Bengal, which is very sad. It needs to strike back. There is a need for a good opposition front,” he opined.
Interestingly, Raut has not reiterated his demand for making Pawar as the United Progressive Alliance chief after Congress snubbed him and said that Shiv Sena was not its part and, therefore, it should not comment on this issue.
Raut said Maharashtra is way ahead in combating the virus. “I have been repeatedly talking about the Maharashtra pattern and Mumbai Model in fighting the pandemic. The Supreme Court has hailed this model. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also lauded the state’s commendable job. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his colleagues deserve full credit,” he viewed.
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