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Rahul Gandhi, Mayawati to skip RJD rally on August 27

Video clips of chief minister Nitish Kumar’s statements against PM Narendra Modi before the 2015 assembly elections and Modi’s DNA comment and other remarks against Kumar will be played at the rally.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2017 00:05 IST
Anirban Guha Roy and Avinash Kumar
Anirban Guha Roy and Avinash Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Rahul Gandhi,Mayawati,RJD rally
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi wil not attend RJD’s rally on August 27. The party will send senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to the meet. (AFP File Photyo)

RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s proposed ‘BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao’ rally at Gandhi Maidan in Patna on August 27 seems to have lost its sheen.

The rally, an effort at uniting the opposition parties to take on the BJP-led NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll, will not be attended by Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi and BSP supremo Mayawati. However, the Congress will be represented by Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Mayawati on Thursday justified her decision to skip the rally, saying her party has conveyed to the RJD that it will share the stage with it only if it is decided in advance which party gets how many seats.

JD(U) dissident Sharad Yadav has also confirmed participation in the rally. Among other leaders who will attend the rally are West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand Akhilesh Yadav and Hemant Soren, respectively.

“We have extended invitations to 17 parties that have come together with the Congress to form a joint opposition platform,” said Bhola Yadav, a close aide of the RJD chief and MLA from Bahadupur in Darbhanga.

He said Om Prakash Chautala-led INLD, DMK and a few other parties from Jharkhand will also be represented at the event.

Prasad’s younger son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav has already undertaken a two-phase statewide tour to drum up support for the rally.

“The rally will be different from the past with respect to ambience, extensive use of technology and less of rustic flavour. The change can be attributed to the advent of Tejashwi as the widely accepted next generation leader,” they added.

Yadav himself is supervising the arrangements for the rally.

Video clips of CM Nitish Kumar’s statements against PM Narendra Modi before the 2015 assembly elections and Modi’s DNA comment and other remarks against Kumar will be played at the rally. “Facts will speak for themselves before the ‘malik’ (read public) to make an assessment how Kumar insulted their mandate,” said RJD leader Sanjay Yadav.

First Published: Aug 25, 2017 00:05 IST