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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

‘Tyranny of dictator’: Arvind Kejriwal’s pitch for opposition unity ahead of rally

The AAP is organising a rally of non-BJP parties in Delhi in its bid to forge opposition unity ahead of the Lok Sabha election against the Modi government.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2019 10:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee with chief minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal during a meeting of opposition parties at Parliament House Annexe in New Delhi on December 10.
Chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee with chief minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal during a meeting of opposition parties at Parliament House Annexe in New Delhi on December 10.(Arvind Yadav/HT file photo)

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal has launched a veiled attack on the BJP-led government at the Centre ahead of a mega rally of opposition leaders in the national capital on Wednesday. Kejriwal invoked freedom fighters and the sacrifices made by them to give a call for unity against the Narendra Modi government.

In post on Twitter, Kejriwal wrote, “Countless freedom fighters laid down their lives for our freedom and democracy. We cannot forget their sacrifices and remain silent to the tyranny of any dictator. Join us for the Save Democracy Satyagraha at the historic Jantar Mantar today afternoon.”

The AAP plays host to more than 20 opposition party leaders, who are in Delhi to take part in ‘Tanashahi Hatao, Desh Bachao’ (Remove Dictatorship, Save Country) rally at Jantar Mantar.

The rally is being held almost a month after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s mega opposition rally in Kolkata’s Brigade Parade. This is the second such rally of the opposition parties to show their strength ahead of the Lok Sabha election this summer.

The AAP is hoping to ‘recreate the anti-Modi movement in Delhi’ with its rally that was seen in West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s show in Kolkata on January 19. “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.

Kejriwal, Banerjee, N Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh and HD Kumaraswamy of Karnataka are the four serving chief ministers who will address the rally. The AAP has invited Congress president Rahul Gandhi to attend its mega rally in the national capital, party’s Sanjay Singh told PTI. Gandhi had not attended the Kolkata rally.

“Sharad Pawar, Sharad Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee, MK Stalin, Chandrababu Naidu are among other invited for the rally,” Rai said. “She [West Bengal CM Banerjee] is coordinating with the same parties and leaders who were invited for last month’s rally,” he said.

There were talks of an alliance between the AAP and the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls, but the local leadership of the grand old party is believed to have been against it. The AAP and the Congress have been bitter rivals in Delhi and Punjab.

The January 19 rally in Kolkata, where the opposition bloc vowed to oust the Modi government, was attended by at least 18 parties. Kejriwal, Chandrababu Naidu, Kumaraswamy, National Conference’s Omar Abdullah and the Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, among others, shared the stage with Banerjee. The event was also attended by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and BJP parliamentarian Shatrughan Sinha.

In a statement released on Sunday, the 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.

First Published: Feb 13, 2019 10:07 IST