Shiv Sena, which is leading the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, on Saturday announced its formal stand that NCP chief Sharad Pawar should lead the UPA.
Even though the Congress-led UPA is playing an Opposition role against BJP-led NDA, its strength has declined. However, if the UPA has to become stronger to take on the BJP-led NDA and if more and more regional parties should be part of it, then Pawar should lead the UPA. Congress president Sonia Gandhi had led the UPA effectively but due to her illness she is not active. In such a situation, Pawar needs to lead the UPA as several regional parties, which are not in NDA or in UPA, are keen to stand against the BJP.
Raut’s statement comes at a time when BJP under Pm Narendra Modi’s leadership has made five assembly elections a prestige issue while the divided Congress is struggling to improve its tally.
“Sharad Pawar should lead the UPA as the main Opposition at the Centre. The UPA is playing the role of the main Opposition in the country against the BJP-led NDA. However, now the strength of the UPA has diminished and the UPA should be led by NCP president Sharad Pawar,” said Raut.
"If the Opposition wants to strengthen its lead in the country and include as many regional parties as possible, then the UPA should be led by a leader like Pawar," Raut said. So far, Sonia Gandhi has led the UPA but she is now unwell.
“Many regional parties in the country are not currently in the NDA or the UPA, but they want to stand up against the BJP. I see Sharad Pawar can bring these parties into the UPA,” said Raut.