‘Loktantra Bachao’ I.N.D.I.A. bloc holds rally in solidarity with Kejriwal, Soren
   Date :01-Apr-2024

Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi
TOP I.N.D.I.A. bloc leaders gathered at the Ramlila Maidan here on Sunday to express solidarity with arrested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, and urged people to vote out the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls to “save democracy and the Constitution”. The leaders who were on the stage at the ‘Loktantra Bachao’ (save democracy) rally included Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, former Presidents Sonia and Rahul Gandhi; NCP’s Sharad Pawar, NC leader Farooq Abdullah, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray; Left leaders Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, Dipankar Bhattacharya; Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav; RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav and TMC’s Derek O’Brien. Chief Minister Kejriwal’s wife Sunita Kejriwal and JMM leader Hemant Soren’s wife Kalpana Soren were also addressed the gathering, castigating the Central Government over the arrest of their husbands in corruption cases. Tyranny won’t work and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal cannot be kept behind bars for long, said Sunita Kejriwal as she read out a letter from her husband which she said he sent from the Enforcement Directorate’s custody.
“The BJP is demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Kejriwal. Should he resign? Is his arrest justified? He is a ‘sher’ (lion). They won’t be able to keep him behind bars for long,” she said. Sunita thanked people for showering blessings on her husband. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to do ‘match-fixing’ in the Lok Sabha polls and asserted that if the BJP succeeds in its endeavours, the country’s Constitution will be changed and people’s rights taken away. He said this is not an ordinary election but one to save the country’s democracy and Constitution. “When pressure is put on umpires and captain, players are bought off and the match is won, in cricket, it is called match-fixing. We have Lok Sabha polls before us. Who selected the umpires? Before the match started, two players were arrested... Narendra Modi is trying to do match-fixing in these polls,” Gandhi said. The BJP is raising the slogan of getting 400 seats, but without EVMs, match-fixing, pressure on Opposition leaders and buying media, they will not be able to cross even 180 seats, he claimed. Gandhi said the Congress is the biggest opposition party and all its accounts have been frozen. Thackeray alleged the country has become an “autocracy” under the Modi Government, and appealed to the people to throw the BJP out of power.
“We are not here for an election campaign, we are here to save democracy... What kind of Government is this, you make allegations and send people to jail,” he said. “Two of our sisters are fighting, how can the brother stay behind? So we are here for our sisters, Kalpana ji and Sunita ji. Not just we, the whole country is with you,” he said. AAP Delhi state convener Gopal Rai said the Ramlila Maidan is a historic place which has changed the country’s history several times. “Whenever a crisis has arisen in the country, a voice of change has echoed from here. If they (BJP) win the Lok Sabha elections, the country will face consequences. This is a do or die situation for all of us. Take leave from your work for the next two months and put all your efforts to save our democracy,” he said at the rally. Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said the Lok Sabha elections will decide the future of coming generations and what kind of a democracy they live in. “You arrest a sitting Chief Minister. You freeze the accounts of the biggest Opposition party. What democracy is this? Shaheed Bhagat Singh did not sacrifice his life for this kind of democracy. The 2024 election is neither about AAP, Congress or I.N.D.I.A. bloc or those who discuss elections in their drawing rooms.
This election will decide the future of our coming generations and what kind of a democracy they live in the future,” he said. Kalpana Soren said she was present at the rally as the voice of “50 per cent of the population of the country -- the women -- and the nine per cent tribal population. “We, the tribals, have a long story of struggle and sacrifices. We are proud of our history. The crowd is an evidence that the way autocratic forces are trying to attack democracy, this assembly has gathered against it,” she said. All the guarantees provided by Dr Babasaheb’s Constitution are being destroyed by the NDA Government, she charged. “One by one they have demolished constitutional institutions.” As Sunita Kejriwal read out the letter sent by Arvind Kejriwal, people in the gathering listened to her with attention. “I am not asking for votes. Instead, I extend an invitation to 140 crore Indians to contribute towards shaping a new India. From my current confinement, I reflect on the plight of our beloved nation, and it pains me deeply. Let us collectively endeavour to forge a new path for India. Should the INDIA alliance be entrusted with the responsibility, we pledge to usher in a transformative era. On behalf of the INDIA alliance, I lay forth six assurances,” said Sunita Kejriwal while reading the letter. The promises laid out are ensuring no power cuts with 24x7 electricity, free electricity for the poor across the country, building Government schools in every area to ensure quality education for all, regardless of economic background, establishing mohalla clinics in every village and area, along with multi-speciality hospitals to provide proper and free treatment to every citizen, ensuring farmers receive Minimum Support Price (MSP) as per the Swaminathan Report and granting statehood to Delhi, a longstanding demand of its residents.
“See her voice is shaking, while reading her husband’s letter. She is a true Bharatiya woman,” said Anit Devi, who was one among the crowd. An Aam Aadmi Party worker said it was very emotional moment for “all of us when Arvind’s wife was reading the letter”. Every single person listened to all the six promises that Kejriwal wrote about in the letter very carefully and accepted them, said the party worker. Another party worker, Ram Kishan, said Kejriwal is in jail, but he is still only thinking about the people of the country. “Every single of them.” ‘VOTE TO SAVE DEMOCRACY’: AKHILESH, CHAMPAI SOREN: Accusing the ruling BJP of using Central agencies to attack Opposition leaders, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday urged people to vote against the party in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls if they wanted to save democracy in the country. The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister questioned why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is using agencies against the Opposition if it is confident of crossing the 400-seat mark in the upcoming polls. Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren, who took the post after Hemant Soren’s resignation ahead of his arrest, said BJP’s autocracy and its ideology will not be allowed to flourish. He said Hemant Soren was arrested even as there was no evidence against him. “He worked for the Dalits, Adivasis, and backward classes.
That made the BJP restless,” the Jharkhand CM said. PRIYANKA GANDHI LISTS I.N.D.I.A. BLOC’S DEMANDS: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra read out the demands of the Opposition alliance at the ‘Loktantra Bachao Rally’ at the Ramlila ground here. She said the Election Commission should ensure a level playing field for all parties in Lok Sabha elections. The poll panel should stop the ED, CBI and the IT department’s actions against Opposition parties being taken to adversely impact the elections, the Congress leader demanded. RSS-BJP LIKE POISON: KHARGE: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday described the RSS-BJP combine as ‘poison’ that has ‘destroyed’ the country, and called on all Opposition parties to unite to defeat the ruling party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.