Opposition leaders slam Modi-led NDA Government in Kolkata rally

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The proposed Grand Alliance, a pan-India anti-Bharatiya Janata Party front, gathered greater momentum on Saturday when leaders of major regional parties across the country launched scathing attacks against the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre and vowed to fight the coming Lok Sabha polls unitedly to oust the BJP. Addressing a huge gathering at the mega United India Rally at the historic Brigade Parade Ground here, convened by the Trinamool Congress, leaders of different parties strongly recommended fielding common candidates against BJP in all the states during the elections, expected in April-May, to prevent vote division. Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah pointed out that the issue of prime ministership will be decided after the polls. Significantly, the first major rally of the proposed Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance took place after Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) last week decided to join hands and contest equal number of seats in Uttar Pradesh in the 2019 general elections. SP and BSP have taken a major step to make BJP a party with zero strength in UP after the coming elections. We too will cut down their (BJP) electoral size to zero in West Bengal, Banerjee stated. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP leaders spoke during the rally. Yadav said his partys electoral tie-up with BSP has left BJP jittery. As many as 23-24 regional parties from across the country are already with us. I think 3-4 more parties will join this alliance before the poll.today is the beginning of the end of the BJP, the firebrand leader said. During her speech at the Brigade Parade Ground, where lakhs of people gathered, she said,The Modi governments expiry date is up. It is an expired government. This is the peoples verdict. A couple of days ago, Banerjee had claimed that the saffron party would not get more than 125 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. She also had claimed that the major opposition rally in Kolkata would be the Addressing the huge political meet here on Saturday, Telugu Desam Party chief and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu said, Economic growth is stagnant now. GST is a fraud. The Modi government is interfering in the federal set up. The opposition needs to have only one goal to defeat the BJP.There is a history of Brigade Parade Ground. Whenever our nation has faced a crisis, this ground has showed us right path. Representing the Congress, senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge congratulated Banerjee for her endeavour to unite major anti-BJP leaders for the Mahagathbandhan rally. Sonia Gandhiji sent a message especially for this rally, Kharge said. Reading out the message from Gandhi, he said a crisis was looming over the country with farmers suffering, the youths were jobless, the country was under immense strain economically. The upcoming Lok Sabha elections will not be an ordinary one, this will be an election to restore the nations faith in democracy.this rally marks an important attempt to galvanize leaders across the political spectrum to fight the arrogant Modi government, Gandhi added in her message. Former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) president HD Deve Gowda emphasised the need for preparing a manifesto to fight the elections unitedly. Seat sharing will be a major issue, it is not going to be an easy task, Deve Gowda warned. Banerjee informed that next meja rallies of the Grand Alliance could take place in Delhi and Amaravathi in Andhra Pradesh Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah were also present on the occassion. Notably, BJP on Thursday termed the proposed Grand Alliance as a non-starter, alleging that the opposition parties had no credible issues or agenda against the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre. Utter chaos is going on in the name of Mahagathbandhan by the opposition parties. They have no common agenda, principle or ideals. However, efforts are on to form the Grand Alliance against the Centre. It is going to be a non-starter, the party told the media.

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