INDIA bloc unites at Ramlila Maidan, says misuse of power and 'tyranny' won't last

Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray claims the country is moving towards becoming an "autocracy"

(From left) Derek O'Brien, Mallikarjun Kharge, Sitaram Yechury, Priyanka Gandhi, Gopal Rai, Akhilesh Yadav, and Uddhav Thackeray at the rally (photo: Vipin/ National Herald)
(From left) Derek O'Brien, Mallikarjun Kharge, Sitaram Yechury, Priyanka Gandhi, Gopal Rai, Akhilesh Yadav, and Uddhav Thackeray at the rally (photo: Vipin/ National Herald)


Tyranny won't work and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal cannot be kept behind bars for long, said his wife Sunita Kejriwal, reading out her husband's message from Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody at the Opposition INDIA bloc's 'Loktantra Bachao (save democracy)' rally at New Delhi's Ramlila Maidan on Sunday.

The rally is being seen as a show of strength by major non-BJP leaders and Opposition unity against the backdrop of Kejriwal's arrest just ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls beginning 19 April.

In her maiden speech at a political rally, Sunita Kejriwal also asked people whether her husband should resign as chief minister. "The BJP is demanding the resignation of chief minister Kejriwal. Should he resign? Is his arrest justified? He is a sher (lion). They won't be able to keep him behind bars for long," she said. "This tyranny will not work. My husband is getting lots of blessings."

In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav claimed that his guarantee is "like Chinese goods" and is only meant for polls, as he urged people not to fall for the BJP's "propaganda".

Addressing the rally, Yadav alleged that an "undeclared emergency" was prevailing in the country and asserted that the opposition will not let the RSS agenda be implemented in the country. The former Bihar deputy CM charged that the Enforcement Directorate, CBI and IT department are cells of the BJP.

"Cases have been slapped on me, my father, mother, sisters. We are not the ones to get scared. The manner in which Hemant Soren ji and (Arvind) Kejriwal ji have been arrested (has been seen by everyone). We are not going to be cowed down by their threat," Yadav said.

"Modi ji says his guarantee is a strong one, we say that his guarantee is like Chinese goods, use it two-three times and it goes bad. So his guarantees are only meant for elections. They (BJP) only indulge in propaganda and making threats," the RJD leader charged.

Speaking before the rally, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said the BJP is "worried" about losing power as he attacked the ruling party for "misusing" probe agencies to target the Opposition. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister also said the BJP is being "criticised" across the world for the arrest of Kejriwal.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Meerut later in the day, Yadav said, "While we (opposition leaders) are coming to Delhi today, the PM is going out of Delhi. This shows who is going out (of power)".

Speaking at the rally, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray claimed the country was moving towards becoming an "autocracy" as he appealed to people of the country to throw the BJP out of power. "We are not here for an election campaign, we are here to save democracy... you level allegations and send people to jail. What kind of government is this?" he said.

"When two of our sisters are fighting, how can the brothers stay behind? So we are here for our sisters, Kalpana ji and Sunita ji. Not just us, the whole country is with you," Thackeray said, referring to former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren's wife Kalpana Soren and Sunita Kejriwal.

At a press conference ahead of the rally, Thackeray attacked the BJP over the electoral bonds issue, terming it "Bhrasht Janata Party", and claimed its real face has been exposed before the people.

The former Maharashtra chief minister also attacked PM Modi over the BJP's 'Modi Ka Parivar' campaign, claiming he does not understand the meaning of parivar (family) as one has to take responsibility of a parivar.

"When I was chief minister during Covid, I made a resolve that mera parivar, meri zimmedaari (my family, my responsibility). There is only you and the chair in your parivar," Thackeray said.

The Sena (UBT) chief also claimed the BJP does not have any real issue now as its "mask is off" with the details of electoral bonds coming to light. "It has emerged that the BJP is the most corrupt party. It is the 'Bhrasht Janata Party'. Their real face has been exposed before the people," he said.

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Published: 31 Mar 2024, 2:57 PM