Launching a scathing attack at the newly-formed JD(U)-BJP government in Bihar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav claimed that the entire country will be united against such forces.
Patna: In a display of opposition unity against the Bharatiya Janata Party, political heavyweights, including West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, shared a platform at Lalu Prasad’s mega rally in Patna today.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad has already said the ‘BJP bhagao desh bachao‘ rally would herald the decline of the BJP-led NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Rebel Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, who is staring at an expulsion from the party for defying orders of not to attend the rally, was greeted warmly by Prasad who embraced him on the dais.
Yadav was accompanied by suspended JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar.
According to the Indian Express, criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lalu Prasad Yadav said: “The country is witnessing an emergency-like situation today. Those not agreeing with him are being harassed by lodging court cases.”
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, through an audio message, said, “Today, people sitting in the government want the public to be silent and do not care for the public”. Gandhi added, “Sashak party ke bhrasth karnamo par parda daalne ke liye Bihar mein janadesh ka jaisa apmaan hua yeh sirf Bihar ka apman nahi hai pure desh ka apman hai.”
Congress President Sonia Gandhi ji’s message for the Patna Rally https://t.co/dSJHybO5Rr
— Congress (@INCIndia) August 27, 2017
JD(U) leader K.C. Tyagi, in a letter to Yadav, had asked him to skip the rally and that if he attends it would mean that he has quit the party voluntarily.
Launching a scathing attack at the newly-formed JD(U)-BJP government in Bihar, Yadav claimed that the entire country will be united against such forces, ANI reported.
Leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress general secretary C.P. Joshi were present at the rally.
The RJD chief and his wife Rabri Devi greeted Trinamool supremo Banerjee and their son Tejaswi Yadav touched her feet.
CPI’s general secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy and secretary D. Raja were present on the dais while Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief and former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) president Babulal Marandi attended the rally.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and MP, Tariq Anwar, was also present.
Prasad, his wife, sons Tejaswi and Tej Pratap Yadav and daughter Misa Bharti, a Rajya Sabha MP, were seated on the front row of the VVIP dais greeting leaders from other parties on their arrival.
Also read: BJP Bhagao, #DeshBachao: Lalu Prasad Yadav Tweets Morphed Image of Rally, Gets Called out on Twitter
Early speakers including Raghubansh Prasad Singh, Abdul Bari Siddiwui, Shivanand Tiwari and others criticised Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for breaking the mahagathbandhan and joining hands with the BJP to form a new government in the state.
Slamming Kumar on death of over 150 people in the disastrous Bihar floods, Lalu Yadav said that people did not die in floods, they were murdered as the flood was engineered. He added that the robbery of people’s mandate will never let Nitish have a sound sleep and that Kumar doesn’t have the courage to face the public, Indian Express reported.
Lalu expressed in his speech that the party had hesitation while forming the grand alliance with Kumar, still decided to go ahead and make him the chief ministerial candidate.
Akhilesh Yadav, Hemant Soren, Tejaswi Yadav and Tej Pratap came together on the dais and waived at the crowd signalling unity among younger generation of the major opposition parties.
Elaborate security arrangements were made for the rally at Gandhi Maidan, where a total of 64 CCTV cameras were installed.
(With inputs from PTI)