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Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Yadav, Akhilesh to attend RJD rally tomorrow

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-08-2017 PTI

Patna: Lalu Prasad’s mega rally to oust the Bharatiya Jatnata Party (BJP) in Patna on Sunday will see participation from political heavyweights like West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav, and will be a major show ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the RJD chief said.

Rebel Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, who is staring at an expulsion from the party for defying orders, will also be a participant. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi will not be present but senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, C.P. Joshi and Hanumantha Rao would represent the party, sources said.

According to a list drawn up by the RJD last night, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and leaders of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, JVM, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Kerala Congress, RSP, AIUDF, National Conference and Janata Dal (Secular) leaders would share dais with Lalu Prasad.

Lalu Prasad on Saturday thanked Mamata Banerjee for confirming her participation at the ‘BJP bhagao, desh bachao’ rally. “Mamata Didi ko special thanks hain, RJD welcomes her to the rally,” Prasad told reporters. He said, big leaders who cannot make it to the programme are deputing senior leaders of their parties.

The RJD chief said that the rally would be an important event ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha poll in which united opposition would throw the BJP out of power. Making a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prasad said “The country is witnessing an emergency like situation today. Those not agreeing with him are being harassed by lodging court cases.”

The BJP and JD(U), however, took potshots at the RJD rally saying it comes at a time when the state is witnessing massive floods in 19 districts. The BJP leader and state health minister Mangal Pandey accused Lalu Prasad and his party of being insensitive towards flood victims whom neither he nor his partymen visited at the time of distress. State JD(U) chief spokesman Sanjay Singh said, “instead of visiting flood victims, Lalu Prasad is busy showing his face as well as those of his two sons.”

“August 27 will be counted as a black day in political history of the country,” he said attacking the RJD. Patna District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Aggarwal said that over 6,000 policemen would be deployed for the rally. He said 64 CCTV cameras, 32 inside Gandhi Maidan and as many outside it, have been installed. Two big platforms are being erected for Sunday’s event.

The RJD supporters have started arriving here for the rally at the Gandhi Maidan. Banners, posters and welcome gates were put up by RJD leaders and workers for the event.

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