Patna: Thousands have trooped into Patna to participate in the 'Desh Bachao-Bhajpa Bhagao' rally being organised by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Sunday. However, the rally has lost some of its significance, with the top Opposition leaders giving it a miss. Lalu Prasad Yadav had initially dubbed the event as the Opposition's show of strength against BJP.
Patna has turned green with huge billboards of the Yadav family. Hoardings with former Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswhi painted as ‘Bahubali’, have been installed at all major intersections and roads leading to the historic Gandhi Maidan where the Opposition leaders will address the crowd.
The ruling Janata Dal United (JDU) along with its new ally, BJP has citicised Lalu for organising a rally in Bihar at a time when the state is battling severe floods.
Meanwhile, in another jolt to Lalu, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and BSP supremo Mayawati are not attending the rally despite the RJD chief having personally invited them.
Though the Congress will be sending CP Joshi and Ghulam Nabi Azad as their representative, Mayawati has turned down the invitation, saying her party would not attend such rally without seat sharing formula for elections in place.
Nitish's exit from the Mahagathbandhan was the first big jolt for Lalu's efforts to bring all opposition parties on the dais. Janata Dal United’s exit from the united Opposition axis has already punctured their spirit of a formidable alliance against the NDA.
Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, only two of the big regional leaders, have arrived in Patna to share the dais with Lalu.
The ruling NDA has mocked the rally as ‘Pariwar Bachao-Rajniti Chamkao' (Save the Family, Shine in Politics) condemning Lalu of organising a rally when most of the people in the state are facing severe floods.