2024 Elections: Ailing Lalu joins Nitish, Tejashwi, Manjhi and Dipankar; Mahagathbandhan Resolves to Defeat BJP Next Year
Poster of Rally. Image Courtesy: @Jduonline
Patna: The ruling Mahagathbandhan in Bihar launched its campaign for the 2024 general elections on Saturday with a call for opposition unity to defeat BJP and oust the Narendra Modi-led central government. Top Mahagathbandhan leaders at a joint rally (Ekjutata rally) in Purnia in Seemanchal, a Muslim-dominated backward region of the state, urged people to support them to ensure the defeat of BJP to save the Constitution, democracy, and the country.
On the other hand, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his party rally at Valmiki Nagar in West Champaran district on Saturday claimed that BJP will return to power in 2024 and the Narendra Modi-led government will be formed again.
Shah also announced that the doors of the BJP were closed for Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. "BJP will never join hands with Kumar," he asserted.
“Our unity is a must to defeat BJP to save the Constitution and the country. If we are united, we would wipe out the BJP, which is nothing but a mask of the RSS. PM Modi has not been doing anything but following the directives of RSS. They are trying to marginalise minorities and to end the reservations,” said a frail-looking Lalu, who has been recovering after a kidney transplant operation last year, while addressing the rally through video conference from Delhi.
Lalu, in his characteristic style, directly attacked the RSS and BJP and cautioned people not to be misled by their false propaganda. “RSS and BJP are anti-reservations; both have been conspiring to end reservations in one or the other way. We will have to fight unitedly against them to save the rights given by the constitution,” he added.
This was the first joint rally of Mahagathbandhan in the state after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar dumped the BJP and joined hands with Mahagathbandhan and formed the new government in the state in August last year.
Kumar, who is de facto chief of Janata Dal (United), reiterated his wish for strong and united opposition to defeat the BJP and oust the Modi-led central government in the next Lok Sabha election. He urged the top leadership of Congress to take an initiative soon in this direction. “If Congress wants, a change of government will take place next year as opposition parties are keen to join hands. We are waiting for Congress’s decision on it,” he said.
Kumar announced that a large number of schoolteachers will be recruited by the government in the state and the government is committed to providing 10 lakh jobs. Without naming Owaisi’s AIMIM, Kumar alerted people to be careful of BJP's ‘B team’ in Seemanchal as it “will help the saffron party”.
Kumar refuted the charge of the BJP and said he has not cheated anyone. “We have been remembering our top leaders who passed away in recent years. But BJP has forgotten its leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani, and Arun Jaitley.”
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, while addressing the rally, said he is like his father Lalu ji, who has never bowed before communal forces. “I, along with all allies of Mahagathbandhan, will fight unitedly to defeat communal forces,” he announced.
Former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, who is the supremo of the Hindustani Awam Morcha – an ally of Mahagathbandhan – displayed his support to Lalu Prasad Yadav and said that the RSS and BJP are hell-bent on finishing reservations. “The Modi government is a government of jumla (false promises) as it has failed to fulfil its promises – to provide jobs to the youths, control price rise. The government is playing with reservations and doing everything to end it. This goes against the Constitution,” he said.
CPI-ML party general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya reminded people that Modi and his Gujarat model also symbolised the Gujarat riots of 2002 when hundreds of innocent people were killed.
CPM MLA Ajay Kumar and a CPI leader also attacked BJP and stressed on unity of the opposition to defeat it.
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