IANS /New Delhi
A galaxy of opposition leaders yesterday asked people to oust Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the upcoming Lok Sabha election as they rallied in the national capital in a show of strength.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, one of the early speakers, said the main challenge before the public and “real nationalists” was to save and make India a better place for which Modi’s rule needed to end.
“We all have to save the nation and have to remove the ‘chowkidar’ from his post. This fight (Lok Sabha election) will be a fight between Modi and the people,” Yechury thundered at a rally at Jantar Mantar organised by Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Yechury also used characters from Mahabharata epic to compare them with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.
“Of the 100 Kauravs, people only know the names of Duryodhana and Dushasan. Similarly, of so many from the BJP, we only know (Narendra) Modi and (Amit) Shah.
“They are doing politics of Mahabharata. The politics of the BJP is the politics of Dushasan. The Shakuni Mama of this Mahabharata, who is sitting in Nagpur, should be kept away from politics to save the nation,” he added, in an obvious reference to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Among those who took part in the rally were Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal) and Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), Communist Party of India’s D Raja, Nationalist Congress Parrty chief Sharad Pawar, Loktantrik Janata Dal’s Sharad Yadav, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Kanimozhi and Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav.
Anand Sharma represented the Congress following an invitation from the AAP despite the lingering tensions between the two parties in Delhi.
The ‘Remove Dictatorship, Save Democracy Rally’ drew thousands of people. AAP leaders Sanjay Singh, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai were also present at the event.
CPI’s Raja described the BJP-in-power as a threat to India and democracy.
“If you want to save the nation, let us all unite to remove the BJP,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Congress has stepped up its efforts to pacify former chief minister and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) president Babulal Marandi to seal the opposition alliance for the Lok Sabha polls.
Last week, the Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha had announced a seat-sharing formula in Jharkhand. The JVM-P stayed away from the talks at the time. “We will fight the Godda Lok Sabha seat at any cost,” Marandi had said after the seat-sharing announcement was made.
yYesterday, Jharkhand Congress president Ajay Kumar met Marandi. Both leaders held a closed door meeting.
“Marandi is a mature leader. Our talks were held in a positive environment,” said Ajay Kumar.
According to the seat-sharing formula, the Congress will contest from seven seats; JMM from, JVM – two and the Rashtriya Janata Dal one.
JVM-P general secretary Pradeep Yadav wants to fight the Lok Sabha polls from the Godda seat. Pradeep Yadav had fought for the rights of the land owners against land acquisition in Godda district. He was sent to jail for several months.
Congress sources say that the party in charge R P N Singh is also in touch with Marandi and trying to convince him to give up the Godda seat demand in the interest of the opposition alliance.
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