Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav will hold a mega rally ‘BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao’ at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan on Sunday. Thousands are expected to join the rally which has been dubbed as the Opposition’s show of strength against the ruling BJP.
Political heavyweights like Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, Trinamool Congress supremo and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh yadav will also be seen at the event.
While Congress President Sonia Gandhi and the party vice-president Rahul Gandhi would give it a miss, senior party leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, CP Joshi and Hanumantha Rao would be attending the rally. Azad is also slated to read the statement on Sonia Gandhi’s behalf. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has also said no to the rally.
Notably, Rahul Gandhi will not be able to attend as the rally as the Congress leader is flying to Norway on the same day.
Besides, Congress’ CP Joshi, NCP’s Tarique Anwar, RLD’s Choudhary Jayant Singh, CPI’s Sudhakar Reddy and former Jharkhand Chief Ministers Hemant Soren of the JMM and Babulal Marandi of the JVM, AIUDF chief Baadruddin Azmal, and leaders from DMK, JD-S and RSP will also attend the rally, the RJD said.
Resonating confidence, RJD chief earlier said that he was sure of a “massive” turnout for the rally.
“I am sure and certain (of a massive gathering). Where is the question of doubt,” Lalu Prasad said.
“Thousands of people, my party leaders, workers, supporters and sympathizers have already started arriving in Patna with drums, traditional music groups to be part of the rally,” he added.
Tejashwi Yadav, the younger son of Lalu Prasad, has been vigorously campaigning across the state to garner support for the rally.
Lalu’s effort is a single biggest event in Bihar post Nitish Kumar’s unceremonious farewell to the grand alliance, deciding to align with BJP to form government in the state — breaking an 18-month-long partnership with RJD chief.
The rally would be an important event to oust the BJP ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha poll.