Mamata will attend Lalu’s largest rally since split from JD-U.
New Delhi: In a setback to the Opposition unity, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, BSP supremo Mayawati and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury are expected to skip the mega rally “BJP Hatao Desh Bachao” called by RJD chief Lalu Yadav.
The rally is scheduled to be held on Sunday, on August 27. This is the first mega rally being organised by the RJD after the grand alliance“Mahagathbandhan” comprising of RJD, Congress and JD(U) broke up. JD(U) joined ranks with the BJP and formed the government in the state with Nitish Kumar continuing as the chief minister.
Earlier, Mr Gandhi was supposed to attend the rally but now the Congress will be represented by the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad. Mr Azad is expected to read out a statement of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. While Rajya Sabha MP and senior BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra will be representing the BSP, leaders of other Opposition parties like Stalin of the DMK and Sharad Pawar of the NCP are yet to confirm their presence in the rally.
However West Bengal chief minister will be present in the rally. Insiders say that the state unit of the Congress was not comfortable with Mr Gandhi sharing the state with the RJD Chief, especially at a time when he is all set to takeover as the President of the Congress sometime later this year. While BSP supremo Mayawati is not comfortable sharing the dais with the top leadership of the Samajwadi party.
Putting up a brave face, Lalu Yadav said, “The support of the Congress is with us, their senior leaders will be here.”
BJP leader and deputy chief minister of Bihar Sushil Modi termed the rally “Meri property bachao rally” — a rally of parties whose leaders are facing corruption charges. Mr Modi also urged Mr Yadav to postpone the rally due to floods in the state. He said, “At least 18 districts in Bihar are flooded. Instead of holding such rallies, Lalu should spend the money on rehabilitating the flood victims.”
However, Lalu Yadav has refused to postpone the rally, which will be held as per schedule.