TMC MP Sushmita Dev has said the opposition parties in the country need to think of an alternative against the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi before going to the people to seek votes. Talking to PTI in Goa on Tuesday, Dev claimed that TMC president Mamata Banerjee is coming up as a "formidable force" against Modi.
Dev also said the TMC has not entered the Assembly poll fray in Goa to cut the Congress's votes, and that the Banerjee-led party has to go to other states to expand the organisation. The Assembly polls to all 40 seats in Goa will be held on February 14.
Targeting the Congress, Dev said there are issues with the Sonia Gandhi-headed party. "It is the oldest party, it has the strongest base, but why do they fail against Modi?" she asked.
"There is a big question in this country, Modi versus who? We have to answer that question. Unless we answer that question, we cannot go to the people," the Rajya Sabha member said.
Dev said the need of the hour at the national level is to find an alternative because the "Congress has not answered the question, Modi versus who?"
Asked whether the TMC wants to pitch Mamata Banerjee as the prime ministerial candidate (in the next Lok Sabha polls), Dev said the prime ministerial face of the opposition has to be a collective decision.
"When people expected Sonia Gandhi to be the prime minister, she sacrificed (the post) for Dr Manmohan Singh. So, Mrs Gandhi is capable of making big sacrifices, that is her plus point. She may chose to sacrifice for anybody, and I think Mamata Banerjee is coming up as a leader at the national level- a formidable force against Narendra Modi," she said.
Dev said what the future holds for the country is not known. "Politics is very dynamic. The idea is to save the nation, which is a commonality among the parties that are not from the RSS or BJP background," she commented.
Dev also asserted that the TMC is not in the fray for the upcoming Goa Assembly elections to cut votes of the Congress.
"If you keep that logic, then no new party will come out of its own state. If you go on telling new parties that you are there to cut the votes, that means for next 100 years, there should be no other party. Today, for the TMC to expand, we have to go to other states," she said.
In the 2017 Goa Assembly elections, the Congress had emerged as the single largest party by winning 17 out of the total 40 seats. However, the BJP then quickly tied-up with some regional parties and independents to form government in the coastal state.
The Congress is now left with just two Assembly seats in Goa.