Rahul to skip Mamata’s mega rally, Kharge to represent Congress

Kolkata: Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will skip grand opposition rally in Kolkata organised by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday, January 19.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge will represent the Congress party at the event.

TMC is organising the rally to gather support for a pan-India anti-BJP front. Banerjee had been touring the country since the last one year in an effort to shore up a strong and united opposition front to fight the Lok Sabha elections against the BJP.

According to sources in the West Bengal Congress, the state unit of the party wanted Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi to skip the rally and instead to send a party leader.

Also, the state leadership is believed to have told the party chief that Congress workers were ready to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections alone.

The West Bengal Congress leaders were also annoyed over the fact that the TMC supremo did not invite any state leader for the rally.

Rahul in the past had assured his party unit in West Bengal that any decision in regard with forging an alliance with the TMC will be taken after considering state leadership’s view.

Reportedly, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati are also yet to confirm their participation in the mega opposition rally.

Among those to be present at the rally include Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tejashwi Yadav, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal and Janata Dal-S leader and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda.