SP chief Akhilesh Yadav arrives at Kolkata on Friday
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav arrives at Kolkata on Friday

Opposition shows strength, non-BJP leaders flock to Kolkata on eve of TMC's mega rally

ANI | Updated: Jan 18, 2019 20:53 IST

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Jan 18 (ANI): On the eve of TMC's much touted mega rally, showcasing the strength of opposition ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, galaxy of non-BJP party leaders reached Kolkata on Friday in their bid to come under one umbrella.
All India Trinamool Congress (TMC), in a bid to channelise efforts towards dethroning the current BJP-ruled Centre in the Lok Sabha elections, has organised a rally here on Saturday.
Among the opposition biggies who reached Kolkata were former Prime Minister and JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda and nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar.
"Mamata Banerjee has taken lead in bringing all the parties together and also she is working hard to throw this government and bring a secular government. This is a historic decision of Mamata and people of the country will respond," said HD Deve Gowda after arriving at Kolkata airport on Friday afternoon.
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav also arrived at Kolkata on Friday.
"The country needs change and wants a new Prime Minister," Yadav said.
Former Chief Minister of Jharkhand and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Hemant Soren, who arrived in Kolkata, said that it is a mission in present political scenario to oust BJP from the power.
"The performance of BJP at the Centre and in states, their working style and ideology is not suited to the people. All the opposition is coming together to counter BJP," said Soren.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Karnataka counterpart HD Kumaraswamy are also expected to attend the rally convened by Mamata Banerjee.
Though the Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi decided to skip the rally, the party would be represented by senior Congress leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge and Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
Rahul Gandhi wrote to the West Bengal Chief Minister extending his party's support to the TMC-led event.
In a letter, Rahul said: "We commend the great people of Bengal who have historically been at the forefront of defending our ideals. I extend my support to Mamata Di on this show of unity and hope that we send a powerful message of a united India together."
Among those expected to be present at the rally include - Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin, National Conference supremo Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejaswi Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Misra, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh and leader Jayant Chowdhury, former Union Finance minister and BJP dissident Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, Opposition leader in Mizoram Lalduwahawma, former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Gegong Apang, former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, and Gujarat independent MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani.
Interestingly, BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha will also attend the anti-BJP rally on Saturday in Kolkata. Over the years, Sinha has been attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a number of issues. (ANI)