Opposition got 69% votes, time for it to unite: Sharad Yadav
Nearly 70 per cent people voted against the BJP and its allies in the 2014 general election and it was high time that those who got such votes unite to save the composite culture of India, dissident JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said Thursday.
“They (the BJP) don’t want a Congress-free India. They want an Opposition free India. That will never happen. They should not forget that gained power with just 31% votes. It means 69% people voted against them,” Yadav said.
The veteran leader said that the real challenge now was uniting the scattered forces that had secured 69% votes against BJP and its allies. Yadav was addressing the third ‘Sanjhi Virasat Bachao’ (save composite culture) convention at Birla Auditorium here. Leaders from 15 Opposition parties are attending the convention.
Taking a jibe at BJP for seeking help from Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, now in jail after being convicted of rape, Yadav said, religion and politics made for a dangerous mix. “The Baba (Gurmeet) is not the sole culprit. Those who asked for his support are responsible too. When religion and politics are mixed, it gives birth to Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan,” Yadav said.
He said that every day “25-30 farmers are committing suicide” on one hand while on the other mobs are lynching people in the name of faith.
Taking a jibe at PM Modi’s call of creating a “new India”, former Union Minister Anand Sharma said the Constitution was being attacked by those who were not part of freedom movement. “We do not want a new India where everywhere there is an atmosphere of fear.”
“The NDA government has cheated India. Youth are unemployed, GDP has declined and lakhs have lost jobs. Economy is in such a poor shape that it will take years to get stable,” Sharma added.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury underlined that coming together of the Opposition parties was “not a coalition for elections but to save the composite culture of the country” from those who are taking it “towards fascism”.
Rajssthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot said culture of a country was above party and political ideology. “As a prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi never spoke of opposition free India. The BJP wants a Congress-Opposition free India. This is not going to happen today or tomorrow.”
RJD leader Manoj Jha said this is country of Mahatma Gandhi and Ram “Ram never taught us to hate. We do not want there (BJP’s) Ram, we want Gandhiwala Ram.”
Taking potshots at Modi, RLD leader Jayant Choudhary said, “The PM doesn’t shift the goal post. He changes the entire game.”
Leaders from CPI, NCP and Jammu and Kashmir National Conference also attended the convention.