From Rahul Gandhi To Akhilesh, Who Said What At INDIA Bloc’s ‘Save Democracy’ Rally – News18


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At Ramlila Maidan in Delhi on Sunday, prominent Opposition figures from the INDIA bloc gathered to show support for arrested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren. They called on people to vote out the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections to ‘save democracy and the Constitution’.

Notable leaders at the ‘Save Democracy’ rally included Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, former presidents Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, CPI(M) leader general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D Raja, CPI(ML) Liberation general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, and Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien, among others.

From accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of match-fixing in the Lok Sabha polls to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s emotional letter from the Enforcement Directorate’s custody, the Opposition leaders launched scathing criticisms against the BJP at the rally. Here are some of the key quotes from the march:

Sunita Kejriwal Shares Husband Arvind’s Message

Sunita Kejriwal, wife of jailed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, read out the message sent by the Chief Minister from the Enforcement Directorate’s custody, saying, “I’m not asking you to make someone win or lose. I’m seeking support to make a new India.”

Before reading her husband’s message, Sunita Kejriwal asked the crowd if Prime Minister Narendra Modi did the right thing by putting her husband in jail. “ Do you believe that Kejriwal Ji is a true patriot and honest person? These BJP people are saying that Kejriwal ji is in jail, he should resign. Should he resign? Your Kejriwal is a lion, they will not be able to keep him in jail for long,” she said.

No one could prove allegations against Hemant: Kalpana Soren

Kalpana Soren, wife of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, asserted that no one has been able to prove the allegations against her husband. She urged the public to support the INDIA bloc parties in the upcoming general elections to protect democracy.

“No matter how big one becomes, one cannot be the greatest. The biggest thing is the public. Therefore, you will have to use your vote properly in the coming elections. Also, the INDIA alliance will have to win. Kejriwal is in jail for 10 days. Hemant Soren was arrested two months ago. Till now no one has been able to prove the allegations against him. Your vote is the biggest court,” she asserted.

Mother India is in pain: Arvind Kejriwal’s letter

In a heartfelt letter read out by his wife Sunita, Arvind Kejriwal shared his concerns about the country’s future and outlined his vision for a better India. In the letter, which also included his six promises for the upcoming polls, the Delhi CM expressed how India, despite being a great nation with abundant resources and culture, still lags behind.

“I am in jail, here I get a lot of time to think, I get broken sleep at night. I think for Mother India. Mother India is very sad, Mother India is in pain… Let us together create a new India, the India of the dreams of 140 crore people, an India where every person will get enough food, every hand will get work, no one will be unemployed, no one will be poor, no one will be illiterate. Every child will get a good education, whether rich or poor, every sick person will get good treatment, whether rich or poor,” read Kejriwal’s letter.

PM Modi Trying to Do Match-fixing: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused PM Modi of attempting “match-fixing” in the Lok Sabha polls, suggesting that the BJP’s success could lead to changes in the country’s Constitution and the loss of people’s rights.

“When pressure is put on umpires and captain, players are bought off and the match is won, in cricket, it is called match-fixing. We have Lok Sabha polls before us. Who selected the umpires? Before the match started, two players were arrested… Narendra Modi is trying to do match-fixing in these polls,” Gandhi said.

“They think the country can be run with the threats and intimidation of police, CBI and ED… You can buy media and suppress them but you cannot suppress the voice of India. No force in this world can suppress this voice of people,” the former Congress chief said. He claimed that If the BJP wins the election through match-fixing and changes the Constitution, then the country would not be saved and “there will be fire everywhere”.

BJP, RSS are like poison: Mallikarjun Kharge

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge described the BJP and RSS as “poison” that has “destroyed” the country. He urged all opposition parties to join forces to defeat the ruling party in the upcoming election.

“The BJP and the RSS are like poison, don’t taste it. They have destroyed the country and they should not be allowed to destroy it further,” the Congress chief said.

Directing his criticism towards PM Modi, Kharge highlighted the lack of fairness in the election, stating, “There is no level-playing field in this election. PM Modi has dug up the ground and is asking the opposition to play cricket there.” He expressed his concerns about the fairness of the election, mentioning that he conveyed to BJP chief JP Nadda at a recent meeting that this election is “not fair” as the Congress’ funds have already been “stolen”.

India Turned into Autocracy Under Modi govt: Uddhav Thackeray

Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray accused the Modi government of turning the country into an “autocracy” and urged people to remove the BJP from power. “We are not here for an election campaign, we are here to save democracy… what kind of government is this, you make allegations and send people to jail,” he said.

“Two of our sisters are fighting, how can the brother stay behind? So we are here for our sisters, Kalpana ji and Sunita ji. Not just we, the whole country is with you,” he said. Thackeray accused the BJP of misusing the ED, CBI, and Income Tax Department, and insisted that they should declare these three agencies as their allies.

Kejriwal, Soren’s arrest an attack on democracy: Sharad Pawar

NCP chief Sharad Pawar stated that the arrest of Kejriwal, Soren, and other leaders by this government is an attack on democracy and the Constitution.

“This government (central government) has arrested the Delhi CM, Jharkhand CM and also put many other leaders from different states in jail. This action is an attack on democracy and the Constitution…It is our responsibility to save it,” Pawar said.

TMC very much part of INDIA bloc: Derek O’Brien

Derek O’Brien announced at the grand rally that the Trinamool Congress is firmly aligned with the INDIA bloc amid reports of internal disagreements. This confirmation comes as the Mamata Banerjee-led party unveils its list of candidates for all 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal.

“All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) is very much was, is and will be part of the INDIA alliance. This is a fight of BJP versus democracy,” the TMC MP stated.

Derek O’Brien also highlighted the 2019 Pulwama attack, referring to former Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik’s statement that “Narendra Modi did not want the truth to come out.”

“What did Narendra Modi want to hide?” questioned the TMC MP asked. “Why did Narendra Modi do cheap politics, desperately seeking votes, when our jawans sacrificed their lives?” He further emphasised, “We demand the truth to come out to honour our jawans. We demand a white paper!”

BJP used ED, CBI to extort donations: Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party chief and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav accused the ruling BJP of deploying central agencies to target opposition leaders. He questioned the BJP’s motives, asking why they would resort to such tactics if they were confident of securing over 400 seats in the upcoming polls.

“If you are so confident of crossing 400 (Lok Sabha seats in polls), why are you scared of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders? You sent Arvind Kejriwal to jail… Hemant Soren was sent to jail…” Yadav said.

“The nation knows they have used ED, CBI to extort donations. To suppress this, false cases are being imposed on opposition leaders,” he added.

Modi’s guarantee is like Chinese goods: Tejashwi Yadav

In a scathing attack, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said that PM Modi’s promises are like ‘Chinese goods,’ reliable only during elections. He urged people not to fall for the BJP’s ‘propaganda’ in the Lok Sabha polls.

“Modi ji says his guarantee is a strong one, we say that his guarantee is like Chinese goods, use it two-three times and it goes bad. So his guarantees are only meant for elections. They (BJP) only indulge in propaganda and making threats,” said the RJD.

Yadav also sang lines from a Govinda-starrer movie with a play on the lyrics “tum toh dhokebaaz ho, vaada karke bhool jaate ho“, to allege that Prime Minister Modi failed to keep his promises from the previous election.

(With inputs from agencies)



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