Opposition leaders gathered on Wednesday — for the third time in less than a month — in a show of unity, and mounted an attack against Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). From a common stage in the national capital, they said the current government should be “ousted” in the coming Lok Sabha elections as it was a threat to democracy and constitutional values.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the situation in the country was “more dangerous” than during the Emergency, while her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal said people should not repeat the mistake of making a “Class XII pass out” as the PM and they should back an “educated” leader.
Besides Banerjee and Kejriwal, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Sharad Yadav of the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s Kanimozhi, former Arunachal CM Gegong Apang, Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader D Raja, and Samajawadi Party (SP) leader Ram Gopal Yadav spoke at the rally at Jantar Mantar. Banerjee called on Opposition parties to fight together. Congress leader Anand Sharma was also present.
“At the national level, we will fight together. For the greater interest of the country, I am ready to sacrifice my life, my party. I am ready to sacrifice everything,” she said. “It is the prime minister’s last day as elected leader in Parliament today (Wednesday),” she said after the Lok Sabha adjourned sine die.
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Banerjee also raised slogans such as “Modi Hatao, Loktantra Bachao. Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao (Remove Modi, Save Democracy… Save the Country).” The mega rally was convened by Kejriwal. “Modi has to go,” he said.
Disgruntled BJP lawmaker Shatrughan Sinha, too, later joined the rally and attacked his own party’s government. He said Modi should speak the truth on the agreement between India and France on the Rafale jets because, as PM he was accountable to the nation.