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4-min read

Lalu Leads Opposition Battle Cry Against BJP at Grand Rally in Patna

Buoyed by the huge turnout at ‘Desh Bachao-Bhajpa Bhagao’ rally, the RJD chief and other leaders vowed to oust the BJP from power in the next general election. The rally was attended by five former chief ministers - Lalu Prasad, Rabri Devi, Hemant Soren, Babulal Marandi and Akhilesh Yadav- and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.

Alok Kumar | News18dmalok

Updated:August 27, 2017, 5:21 PM IST
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Lalu Leads Opposition Battle Cry Against BJP at Grand Rally in Patna
RJD chief Lalu Prasad with TMC supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav during "BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao" rally at Gandhi Maidan in Patna. (PTI Photo)
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Patna: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, in a massive show of strength at the historic Gandhi Maidan in Patna on Sunday, succeeded in rallying opposition parties behind him in his fight against the BJP.

Buoyed by the huge turnout at ‘Desh Bachao-Bhajpa Bhagao’ rally, the RJD chief and other leaders vowed to oust the BJP from power in the next general election.

The rally was attended by five former chief ministers - Lalu Prasad, Rabri Devi, Hemant Soren, Babulal Marandi and Akhilesh Yadav- and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.

Apart from them, representatives from Congress, DMK, RLD, National Conference, Janata Dal (Secular) and left parties also participated in the mega show.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi's recorded audio message was played and state congress chief Ashok Chaudhary read out the written speech sent by party’s vice president Rahul Gandhi. Rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav also addressed the rally.

Lalu Yadav exhorted his supporters to expose the ‘true colours’ of chief minister Nitish Kumar and teach him and BJP a lesson for betraying the mandate.

“I always knew Nitish Kumar had no moral or principles but I decided to back him to keep the BJP at bay. We made him the CM despite being the largest party with 80 seats but he was not comfortable with the growing popularity of my son and deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav,” he said.

The RJD chief attacked Nitish for swapping alliance and within four hours forming a new government with the BJP, the party against which Mahagathbandhan had won the last assembly election.

Pointing at Sharad Yadav, the RJD leader said, “Nitish has been betraying everyone for power. Sharad ji made him minister in the union government but he did not even spare him. Nitish had vowed to make SanghMukt Bharat but it is for everybody to see how he bowed down to them."

Lalu claimed that the rally has sent clear signal to the country and the rally will pave way for a united fight against the BJP.

patna rally
Huge crowds gathered at the Gandhi Maidan for the anti-BJP rally. (Photo: Twitter)

Sonia Gandhi's recorded audio message was played on the occasion as she could not attend the rally due to ill health. She accused the central government of snatching employment by its flawed economic policies and failing to create new employment opportunities. She also mentioned Gorakhpur incident where many children died due to lack of oxygen and alleged government's apathy towards weaker sections wherever BJP is in power.

Without mentioning any party, Sonia vowed to fight the forces, who, she said, were creating atmosphere of fear in the country. "Some people are saying that opposition has become irrelevant. They should know that those who speak the voice of the people never become irrelevant. We are united in the fight for common people and we will succeed," she said.

Rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav was greeted warmly by Lalu Prasad Yadav on the dais. Sharad, in his address, remembered how he and Lalu worked overtime to stitch the Mahagathbandhan in 2015 that defeated the BJP in a decisive manner and sent a signal to the rest of the country. He attacked Nitish for breaking the alliance and joining hands with the BJP against whom the election was fought.

“My party leaders have betrayed people’s mandate. They broke away from the Mahagathbandhan but this is intact in Bihar and would be strengthened in the rest of the country. I thank Lalu ji for organising this rally to start a new journey,” he said.

Sharad invoked ‘Inqalab’ and stressed the fight for social justice, poor labourers and farmers needs to be intensified as the central government policies have failed to address their issues in the last three and half years.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that Nitish became fearful of the BJP and surrendered before them but Lalu has once again proved why he was always considered a grassroot leader.

"Nitish betrayed Lalu but people of Bihar will give him a befitting reply in the next election. Lalu ji has been a trustworthy leader. He means what he says and people gathered here are behind him. Nitish's opportunism will prove him costly," she said.

Mamata extended her full support to Lalu Prasad and alleged central agencies were hounding political parties who are against the BJP. “They threaten to send us in jails but we are not fearful of them. We will fight them. They are dividing people on religious lines. I am a Hindu but why should I show them the certificate?” she asked.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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