On Feb 13, AAP to host Oppn rally

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - HTNATION - Sweta Goswami [email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

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 non- BJP 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.

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