Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: Amid uncertainty over the next Congress chief, Shiv Sena has once again taken a jibe at the grand old party and has pitched for Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar to become the next chairman of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

In its mouthpiece Saamna, the Shiv Sena said that the Congress should discuss why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) keeps "making fun of the party's leadership" and stressed that the UPA needs a strong leader like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

It also said that parties like Trinamool Congress, Akali Dal, BSP, Samajwadi Party -- which are not part of the Congress-led UPA -- need to unite against the BJP to form a "formidable alternative".

"An ineffective opposition is leading to disintegration of democracy. Instead of blaming the government, the opposition party should introspect. There has to be a mass appeal to the opposition's leadership... Rahul Gandhi individually is putting up a strong fight but something is lacking... Even parties which are a part of UPA might not have taken the farmers' protest seriously," the newspaper wrote, as reported by The Times of India.

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It also praised Sharad Pawar for his "independent and powerful" personality and said that even leaders like PM Modi draw benefits of his experience.

The Shiv Sena is a part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. However, it has questioned the top Congress leadership on several occasions. Interestingly, Sharad Pawar had also suggested that Congress needs introspection, saying Rahul Gandhi appears to lack the "consistency" needed to be accepted by the country as its leader.

Following Pawar's statement, the NCP had issued a clarification and said that Congress should treat it like a 'fatherly advice'. "Whatever Sharad Pawar Saheb said in the interview with a news organisation should be considered as fatherly advice of a veteran leader. MVA is a government of all three parties," said NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma