The Congress, which is in the Opposition at the national level, has turned 'feeble and disintegrated', Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana said on Saturday, and suggested that all anti-Bharatiya Janata Party parties, including the Sena, should come together under the United Progressive Alliance banner to provide a formidable alternative.
It said that those in power at the Centre were indifferent towards the ongoing farmers' protest, and 'ineffective' Opposition is the most prominent reason behind the government's apathy.
The Saamana 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. 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.
'Rahul Gandhi individually is putting up a strong fight, but something is lacking...The present condition of the Congress-led 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,' the Marathi daily said.
'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.
'Senior Congress leaders like Ahmed Patel, Motilal Vora are no more. There is no clarity on who will lead the Congress and what the future of the UPA is. Just like there is no party other than the BJP in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), there is no one else in the UPA. But the BJP is in complete power and they have powerful leadership in Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. The UPA has none,' it said.
'Alarm bells are ringing that if the Congress does not give a serious thought to these issues, then future looks difficult for everyone,' it added.