Over 23 opposition political parties came together at a ‘United India Rally’ organised by the Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Grounds. Lakhs of people were in attendance.
The event marked a show of strength of a united opposition against the Modi-Shah led BJP Government at the center ahead of the 2019 General Elections.
The event was attended by Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) N Chandrababu Naidu, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Mallikarjun Kharge, National Conference’s Omar and Farooq Abdullah, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Arvind Kejriwal, Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel and Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Sharad Pawar, JDS’s HD Devegowda and HD Kumaraswamy and many other prominent leaders.
Disgruntled Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shatrughan Sinha was also present.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati did not attend the rally but sent their representatives.
It was a stage filled with jibes against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The united opposition questioned the government on various issues like Rafale, Demonetisation, GST, Jobs, Institutions like CBI, RBI and ED,. etc,.etc.
Here is a highlight of what the leaders said —
Tejashwi Yadav, leader of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) said, “Just understand one thing: If you’re a chowkidaar, the people are thaanedaars (superior officers). They will punish you if you do anything wrong.”
Shatrughan Sinha, rebel BJP leader said, “The opposition only has a few questions for you about the agreement. But until you answer them, the public will continue to say that chowkidaar chor hai (the watchman is a thief).”
Chandrababu Naidu, leader of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) said, “This PM is a publicity PM, but we want a performing PM..The BJP gave slogans Jan Dhan, Mudra Loan, Good Governance, Smart Cities, Two Crore Jobs, Acche Din — but did anything come out of them?”
Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Congress party said, “Modi said na khaunga, na khane doonga (won’t eat, won’t let you eat either), but he’s giving to corporates. To save secular values, we need to stand united. We need to walk together.”
Arvind Kejriwal, chief of Aam Aadmi Party said, “What Pakistan could not do in the last 70 years, the Narendra Modi government did in five. It divided the society, pitting one religion against another. And that is why we need to get rid of the Modi-Shah partnership.”
Akhilesh Yadav, chief of Samajwadi Party said, “Today, I tell them that the face will be one chosen by the people. You have many groups in your alliance too, and that includes the CBI and the ED, but we have allied with the people.”
MK Stalin, leader of the DMK said, “Did Modi transfer the Rs. 15 lakh he promised to everybody’s account? Instead, he flew around the world while prices of petrol, diesel and groceries skyrocketed here. This is a corporate government, and it’s being run like a private firm.”
Mamata Banerjee, host and chief of TMC said, “There is a ‘Laxman Rekha’ (boundary) in politics. But the BJP has crossed all limits.”
(The Pigeon Express Opinion – The coming together of the opposition shows the popularity of Narendra Modi, his power and might. The togetherness of the opposition will dent Modi’s numbers for sure.
The united opposition just did ‘Modi bashing’, they created a negative rhetoric against the BJP, Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. However all this won’t work always, the public are smart. The opposition need to let the public know their plans, vision and ought to have a manifesto or a common minimum program in place at the earliest.)