Three weeks after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held the ‘Opposition Unity’ rally in Kolkata, several opposition leaders across the political spectrum descended in New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar for a mega rally Wednesday. The rally organised by the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Admi Party (AAP) titled ‘Remove Dictatorship, Save Democracy’ saw political leaders slamming the BJP government calling it a “threat to democracy” and that it must be defeated in the coming general election.
A host of opposition leaders, including Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury spoke during the rally. Congress also extended its support.
“It is Prime Minister’s last day as an elected leader in Parliament today,” she said after the Lok Sabha adjourned sine
die. “Everyone is afraid of Gabbar Singh. There are two of them — (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and (BJP chief Amit) Shah,” she said.
“Opposition parties will fight unitedly at the national level,” Banerjee asserted.
In an apparent dig at the Congress whose state unit is fighting tooth and nail against the TMC, Banerjee said while the Rahul Gandhi-led party is strong in the three heartland states, they should not cut into her party’s votes in West Bengal.
“We tell the Congress, if you are strong in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, you should fight there. But where we are strong, don’t let the BJP win. I am used to fighting the BJP, CPM and the Congress because in Bengal, these three parties fight together. Even if we make an understanding, they don’t transfer votes. I am used to this. I am not scared. How much ever they fight, I will get 42 out of 42,” she asserted.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that he is trying to tear apart the Constitution and destroy democracy. Kejriwal also alleged that the Modi government has “captured” the Anti Corruption Branch in the last four years.
“Who dreams of capturing Delhi and Kolkata? The prime minister of Pakistan,” Kejriwal said sarcastically.
Thousands of anti-BJP supporters were present for the rally. Slogans like “Tanashahi Hatao Loktantra Bachao” dotted the venue. People were also waving huge posters of B R Ambedkar.
Taking on the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, CPI leader D Raja said the Constitution is under attack under BJP and asserted that Parliament has been undermined and bypassed and its role has been minimized under Modi. “BJP in power is a threat to constitution and democracy. It must be defeated,” he added.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury alleged that BJP is professing politics of ‘Dushashan’ by pitting brothers against brothers. “There is need to replace this government for a better India. This chowkidar needs to be removed to save the country,” he said.
“BJP is like Kaurava Sena but the Pandavas (Opposition) will defeat them and save the country,” he added.
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said Uttar Pradesh will play a crucial role in 2019 and asserted BJP will not open its account in UP.
He said the SP-BSP-RLD alliance will “create a situation” in UP that Modi will have to find another seat, besides Varanasi, to contest the coming Lok Sabha election.
This Opposition, he said, will defend the country and save democracy from BJP.
“All democratic institutions are under assault,” he alleged, adding, “We need to identify the elements, who, in partnership with BJP, are trying to weaken Kejriwal and Mamata governments.”
Opposition leaders later also met for a meeting post rally at NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s home in New Delhi. Congress president Rahul Gandhi said they had a “constructive meeting” wherein they decided to band together to defeat the Narendra Modi-led central government in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.