Zoom News : Dec 08, 2021, 12:15 PM
Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik has categorically denied any attempts being made to form a third front as he said NCP chief Sharad Pawar will work to bring all non-BJP parties, including Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, under the ambit of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).Malik gave the statement while speaking to the media after the party's national executive meeting in Delhi. The meeting was significant as it was being held days after Pawar met West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. Following that meeting, Banerjee questioned UPA's existence and said there is no UPA. She had also made an assertion to form "a strong alternative force" to oust the BJP from the Centre. "No one can do it alone. We all need a strong alternative and if someone is not ready to fight, then what can be done," she said on December 1.The comment drew major criticism from Congress, with senior leaders slamming Mamata and accusing her of "posturing for personal ambition". While the NCP is in alliance with Congress in Maharashtra, it has distanced itself from Banerjee's statements."Sharad Pawar has such a power that if he can form the government in Maharashtra by bringing Shiv Sena and Congress on one platform. Then Sharad Pawar can also bring non-BJP parties across the country on one platform and a strong Opposition to defeat BJP," Malik said on Tuesday.Speaking on whether Banerjee will be part of UPA in the future, the NCP leader said talks will be held with the Bengal leader to bring her into the UPA fold. "If Shiv Sena and Congress can sit together in Maharashtra, NCP can play a part in it, then talks can also be held with Mamata Banerjee," he also said."There will be no front except the ruling party and the Opposition," Malik said. "There is an ideological fight in the country. There is a fascist ideology, which is the ideology of the BJP," he added"NCP will try to bring together all those who want to fight against this ideology," he said.According to a PTI report by, TMC's national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee has conveyed to all its MPs that the party will not play second fiddle to anyone, including the Congress.Trinamool Congress was once part of the UPA, an alliance of several parties including Congress that remained in power at the Center for 10 years from 2004 to 2014.After the TMC's landslide victory in West Bengal Assembly polls held earlier this year, Banerjee is continuously pitching for a strong alternative at the national level, in a seeming attempt to go pan-national.