A galaxy of opposition leaders on Wednesday asked the people to oust Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the coming Lok Sabha election as they rallied in the national capital in a show of strength.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury, one of the early speakers, said the main challenge before the public and “real nationalists” was to save and make India a better place and for that Modi’s rule needed to end.
“We all have to save the nation and have to remove the ‘chowkidar’ from his post. This fight (Lok Sabha election) will be a fight between Modi and the people,” he thundered at a rally at Jantar Mantar organised by the city’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Yechury also used characters from Mahabharata to compare them with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.
“Of the 100 Kauravs, people only know the names of Duryodhana and Dushasan. Similarly, of so many from the BJP, we only know (Narendra) Modi and (Amit) Shah.
“They are doing politics of Mahabharata. The politics of the BJP is the politics of Dushasan. The Shakuni Mama of this Mahabharata, who is sitting in Nagpur, should be kept away from politics to save the nation,” he added, in an obvious reference to the RSS.
Among those who took part in the rally were Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal) and Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), CPI’s D. Raja, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Loktantrik Janata Dal’s Sharad Yadav, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, DMK’s Kanimozhi and Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav.
Anand Sharma represented the Congress following an invite from the AAP despite the lingering Congress-AAP tensions in Delhi.
The ‘Remove Dictatorship, Save Democracy Rally’ drew thousands of people. AAP leaders Sanjay Singh, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai were also present at the event.
CPI’s Raja described the BJP-in-power as a threat to India and democracy.
“If you want to save the nation, let us all unite to remove the BJP,” he said in his address.