Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece 'Saamna' on Saturday criticised the Congress by calling it "feeble and disintegrated", and suggested that all anti-BJP parties, including the Sena, should come together under the UPA banner to provide a formidable alternative.
The Marathi mouthpiece also said that instead of blaming the central government, the main opposition party should introspect about its leadership issue.
"Farmers are protesting on the national capital borders. But the rulers in Delhi are completely indifferent towards this agitation. Disintegrated and feeble opposition party is the main reason behind the government's indifference," the editorial said.
"Thirty days of farmers' protest is not yielding results because the central government thinks there is no political threat to them. In any democracy, Opposition plays an important role but the Congress and UPA have failed to put pressure on the government for issues concerning people."
"Ineffective Opposition is leading to this disintegration of democracy," it said. "Instead of blaming the government, the opposition party should introspect. There has to be a mass appeal to the opposition leadership. But on this front, that party is standing on the brink," it said, as reported by PTI.
"Rahul Gandhi individually is putting up a strong fight, but something is lackingThe present condition of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is like an NGO. Even the UPA constituents do not seem to have taken the farmers' protest seriously. There is no clarity about what these constituents exactly do," news agency PTI quoted the Marathi daily.
"NCP chief Sharad Pawar is an independent personality at the national level. In West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee is waging a lonely battle. The country's Opposition party should stand by her at this time. Mamata Banerjee has contacted only Pawar and he is going to Bengal. But this should have been done under the leadership of the Congress," it said. "Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Akhilesh Yadav, Jaganmohan Reddy's YSR Congress, K Chandrasekhar Rao from Telangana, Odisha's Naveen Patnaik, Karnataka's H D Kumaraswamy are all against the BJP, but they are not part of the Congress-led UPA. Unless all of them join the UPA, the Opposition cannot provide a formidable alternative," it added.
"Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was arrested in Delhi (during a protest march over farm laws); Rahul Gandhi was publicly ridiculed by the BJP; the Thackeray government in Maharashtra is not allowed to function; BJP leaders are on record saying that the prime minister was instrumental in toppling the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh. All this is not good for democracy," it said. The onus of ensuring that the situation does not deteriorate further is on the Congress party, 'Saamana' said.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Congress loyalist Ashok Chavan retorted to Shiv Sena's comments and said the latter should not comment on leadership as the Shiv Sena party is not part of UPA.
Another Congress leader Naseem Khan echoed similar remarks and said Congress has given support to Sena on the basis of the common minimum programme.
"Sena isn’t part of UPA. It shouldn’t comment the way it does. Congress has given support to Sena on the basis of a common minimum programme."
Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government is a triumvirate Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP in Maharashtra.
(With PTI inputs)