On Feb 13, AAP to host Oppn rally
NEWDELHI: Chief ministers Arvind Kejriwal, Mamata Banerjee and N Chandrababu Naidu will address a rally at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Wednesday, upping the ante against the Centre’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and bringing Opposition leaders on the same stage in a show of strength about a month after a similar programme in Kolkata.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, announced that it will host the “Remove Dictatorship, Save Democracy” rally in Delhi on February 13.
“The aim is to recreate the anti-Modi movement in Delhi that was seen in the...rally organised by Banerjee last month in West Bengal. She [Banerjee] herself is coordinating with non-BJP parties for the participation of their leadership in this...movement,” said Gopal Rai, the AAP’s Delhi unit convener.
When asked if the Congress will be invited, Rai said participants of the Kolkata event were likely to be present. “She [West Bengal CM Banerjee] is coordinating with the same parties and leaders who were invited for last month’s rally,” he said. The senior AAP leader, for now, added that “other main leaders” of nonBJP parties will be in attendance.
The January 19 rally in Kolkata, where the Opposition bloc vowed to oust Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, was attended by at least 18 parties. Kejriwal, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, National Conference’s Omar Abdullah and the Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, among others, shared the stage with Banerjee.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother, Sonia Gandhi, did not attend the rally, though the former sent a letter to Banerjee supporting her efforts. The event was also attended by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and BJP parliamentarian Shatrughan Sinha.
In a statement released on Sunday, AAP said the elected governments of non-BJP parties have been targeted by the central government, “which has made a mockery of the federal structure of the Constitution”.
“Modi government has crossed all limits through blatant misuse of central agencies to throttle political opponents and it has no respect for the rule of law. All those who want to save the country from this dictatorial duo should come forward to safeguard democracy,” the party said.