KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress chief and West Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during United India rally made an impassioned appeal to the vast ocean of heads gathered to unite against the Modi government.
Addressing the lakhs gathered at the historic Brigade Parade ground here on Saturday, she said, “Modiji’s expiry date is over just as a medicine packet’s expiry date gets over. Its time for a new morning now,” says Mamata Banerjee .
On stage in Kolkata, Banerjee said, “I want to ask BJP, do they respect their own leaders? Have you given any respect to Shatrughna Sinha..to Yashwant Sinha…what about Rajnath, Gadkari and Sushma? PM speaks of collective leadership just because elections are around. After Modi he is elected, he will abandon all these leaders,” says Mamata Banerjee.
She concluded it with the chant “badal do badal do, Dilli mein sarkar badal do (change the government at the Centre).”
All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Saturday organised an anti-BJP rally in Kolkata which was attended by the leaders of nearly 20 opposition parties. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu among others attended the rally.
Following are the snippets from the speeches of various leaders at the anti-BJP rally
* National Conference President Farooq Abdullah: “This (Electronic Voting) machine is not there in any part of the world. The machine is used for theft (of votes) and we have seen this in elections.”
* West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee: “This ‘gathbandhan’ (alliance) has been formed to save the people of the nation and give them justice. Everyone has to come together for the sake of the nation.”
* Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy: “The BJP leaders are offering huge amounts of cash to MLAs of Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) to resign and join them. Legislators are being treated as commodities.”
* Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav: “You are making alliances with the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and ED (Enforcement Directorate). But we have alliances with the people.”
* Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav: “Modiji is a factory, manufacturer and distributor of lies. He can give 10 lies free along with one lie. His promises are all fake, so we need to be cautious.”
* CM of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu: “Modi betrayed farmers… A big fraud is going on in the name of agricultural policies. A number of states, including Andhra Pradesh and Bengal are doing far better than the Centre in terms of farmer welfare.”
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* AAP chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal: “In the past 70 years, there has been repeated efforts by Pakistan to weaken the country. Pakistan has failed in planting hatred in the country… But Modi-Shah has done this in just five years.”
* DMK President M.K. Stalin: “The 2019 elections in India will be India’s second freedom struggle. The BJP at the Centre is sowing the seeds of hatred and divisionism among people. We have to stop that any cost.”
* Zoram Nationalist Party leader Lalduhawma: “If that Bill (Citizenship Amendment Bill) is enacted, India will no longer be the place that it used to be … we want a secular government at the Centre, so that this Bill is withdrawn or exemption given to Northeast.”
* Patidar leader Hardik Patel: “Netaji fought against Britishers and we all have united to fight against the thieves. This massive gathering will start a revolution against corruption and loot.”
* Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani: “Our country is currently passing through a unprecedented crisis. Our Constitution and country’s democracy has been attacked for the last four-and-half years.”
* Ex-Arunachal CM Gegong Apang: “I have been fortunate enough to work under Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, P.V. Narsimha Rao, H.D. Deve Gowda, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. They believed in federal democracy. But the last four years have been testing time for Indian democracy.”
* NCP President Sharad Pawar: “We have not come to the united opposition rally for any ministerial positions. We all have come here to bring change in the nation and protect the people from atrocities of the BJP regime.”
* Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha: “I know BJP will say that we have gathered to remove Narendra Modi from power. But it is not about one single man, it is against the thought process of this party. They have destroyed almost all institutions.”
* BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha: “People often ask me why I speak against BJP while being in it. If speaking the truth is rebellion, then, yes, I am a rebel. Till you hide the details (on Rafale) and not answer the questions, the public will continue to say ‘chowkidar chor hai’.”
* Former Union Minister Arun Shourie: “We (opposition parties and leaders) have to have a single aim – that is ousting the BJP in the next Lok Sabha election. It will not be an easy work – pitching a single opposition candidate in each seat against the BJP. But we must sacrifice for the country.”
* Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav: “Country’s economy and almost 7 crore people have bore the brunt of demonetisation and GST. Country’s freedom, farmers and youth, everyone is in danger.”
* Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda: “The entire country will stand together against the BJP that is misusing power to uproot democratic values of this nation… People want a new government which will protect the democratic system.”
With [source_without_link]IANS inputs[/source_without_link]