West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, 1 December, said "there is no United Progressive Alliance (UPA) now", after meeting Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar at his residence in Mumbai, news agency ANI reported.
Adding that she agrees with "whatever Sharad ji said", she added, "A firm alternative course should be made as nobody's fighting against ongoing fascism. Sharad Ji is the seniormost leader and I came to discuss our political parties."
Further, Banerjee said that she came to Mumbai to meet Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar but she could not meet Uddhav due to his ill health. Thus, she had a discussion with Sanjay Raut and Aditya Thackeray.
"I pray for his (Uddhav's) good health," Banerjee said.
"A strong alternative should be given against the way fascism is going on in the country today. No one can do this alone. We will support those who are powerful in their own region."
WHAT DID SHARAD PAWAR SAY?
Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar said after the meeting: "Today, my colleagues and I had a long chat with her. Her intention is, in today's situation like-minded forces have to come together at national level & set up collective leadership.
"We have to provide a strong alternative to leadership. Our thinking is not for today, but for election. This has to be established and with that intention, she has visited and had a very positive discussion with all of us," he added.
But Pawar did not close the doors fully for Congress, saying: "Be it Congress or any other party, the thing is that those who are against BJP, if they'll come together, they're welcome."
"Not just now but have to be ready for the 2024 elections.
Earlier, Pawar had taken to social media immediately after the meeting. "Pleased to meet Hon'ble CM of West Bengal Smt Mamata Banerjee at my Mumbai residence. We discussed various issues. We agreed upon the need to strengthen the collective efforts and commitment towards safeguarding democratic values and ensuring the betterment of our people," Pawar tweeted after the meeting.
On Tuesday, NCP leader Nawab Malik had said: "It's a goodwill visit, following which she will address the press and inform the public about the discussions.”
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief had met with Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray and party leader Sanjay Raut in Mumbai.
"We welcome her to Mumbai and Maharashtra. There has always been a friendship. We had met her even 2-3 years back when she visited Mumbai. We came to carry forward that friendship. We discussed many issues but we came here to welcome her to Mumbai," Thackeray had said after the meeting, as per ANI.
Banerjee had also visited the Siddhivinayak Temple after which she paid tribute to Tukaram Omble statue in Mumbai. Omble was a Mumbai Police officer who had lost his life in the line of duty during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
(With inputs from ANI.)