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Republic Day: BJP’s ‘Tiranga Yatra’ to counter Oppn’s ‘Save the Constitution’rally

BJP leaders to walk from Chaityabhoomi to labour ground at Elphinstone Road; CM Devendra Fadnavis will address a public meeting

mumbai Updated: Jan 25, 2018 21:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
BJP,Tiranga rally,Republic Day rally
The CM is expected to speak about Dalit protests, caste clashes and the Opposition’s accusations against the government. (HT File Photo)

This Republic Day, the city will witness two major rallies – the ‘Save the Constitution’ (Samvidhan Bachao) rally by the Opposition parties and the ‘Tiranga Yatra’ rally organized by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to counter the former.

The Opposition parties have planned the ‘Save the Constitution’ rally to highlight the alleged attempt to change the Constitution of India.

While the Opposition’s rally will have stalwarts like Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, Patel agitation leader Hardik Patel and former Janata Dal (U) leader Sharad Yadav, the BJP’s rally will culminate with the speech by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Both the sides have begun their pre-rally attacks. “The BJP’s rally is a reaction to our rally. The BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya was critical of our national flag. The BJP should first apologize and then celebrate the Tiranga Yatra,” said Jitendra Awhad, NCP leader, who is one of the organisers of the Opposition march. He said that the ultimate aim of the BJP was to change the Constitution as was evident by Union minister Anant Kumar Hegde’s statement, when he said that the government will change the Constitution.

The Opposition’s two- kilometre-long march will start from Dr BR Ambedkar’s statue near the Mantralaya, proceed towards Hutatma Chowk and culminate at warrior king Shivaji’s statue at the Gateway of India, where many will stage a silent protest.

Awhad pointed out that the march was organised by the student community and was a non-partisan affair.

The BJP has dismissed the Opposition’s allegations as a pack of lies.

“The Opposition has no issues and is resorting to such lies to malign us. The BJP has the highest respect for the flag and the Constitution,” said president of the BJP’s Mumbai unit, Ashish Shelar. The BJP leaders walk will from Chaityabhoomi in Shivaji Park to the Kamgar stadium at Elphinstone Road, where Fadnavis will address a public meeting.

The rally will be led by Ashish Shelar and education minister Vinod Tawde, and will include all city legislators and MPs.

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 15:14 IST