Why Rahul Gandhi’s Mumbai Rally was More About INDIA’s Show of Strength Than Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra – News18

Reported By: Mayuresh Ganapatye
Edited By: Shilpy Bisht
Last Updated: March 18, 2024, 17:33 IST
New Delhi, India
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi speaks during a rally at the conclusion of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, in Mumbai, on Monday. (PTI photo)
Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, which started from Manipur on January 14 and concluded at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park today, was not just a spectacle before the 2024 Lok Sabha election but a grand show of strength of INDIA alliance, whose leaders who took pot-shots at the ruling BJP at the event.
Not only did Rahul Gandhi slam the BJP and its leaders, he pointed out fighting against “the power”, which is controlling everybody from leaders to media and social media. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is just playing the role which he has been asked to play by this power,” he added.
He said Manipur and Mumbai were chosen as the key locations for the Yatra as the former witnessed a “civil war-like situation which nobody was talking about”, and the people of Dharavi are “struggling as the plan is to throw them out of their houses”.
“We wanted to give a new vision therefore these two destinations were decided for the Yatra”, he added.
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray in his speech compared the Modi government to an “inflated balloon” and regretted for “playing a part to inflate this balloon”. “I feel sorry that we also played a part in inflating this balloon in the past. The party that had only two MPs is now asking us how many seats we will win. We were part of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government too but the Modi government is all about advertising. This time, people of India are with us, and we are fighting the battle to save democracy.”
He praised Rahul Gandhi for choosing Shivaji Park as the spot to complete his yatra. “Anyone who has made promises to people from Shivaji Park has not failed”.
Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is also another spoke in the INDIA wheel, urged the crowd to remain united and bring a change in the country. He too lambasted at the Centre under Modi for making “false promises… the kind of advertisements they are showing on TV won’t work this time for them. Mahatma Gandhi had given a call for Bharat Chodo (Quit India Movement) from Mumbai in 1942. Now, the time has come that we all should give a call for ‘BJP Chodo’ from Mumbai”, the NCP supremo added.
Other partners of the INDIA bloc including Tamil Nadu chief minister and DMK chief MK Stalin said, “PM Modi calls our alliance corrupt but look at the amount in the electoral bond case. It shows that this government is the corrupt… I call it ‘white collar corruption’”.
Praising his alliance leaders from North India, Stalin said, “It is a journey to restore India, which had been destroyed by the BJP”.
After the Lok Sabha Election in Jammu and Kashmir were announced in seven phases, former Chief Minister and leader of National Conference Farooq Abdullah assured that the polls will be conducted on ballot paper once the INDIA alliance comes into power. “We will make it happen”.
Former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, who was also present at the Shivaji Park ground, targeted the BJP for misusing the central agencies to pull down the state governments. He reminded the Modi government of the poll promise of bringing back black money, and creating “two crore jobs every year”.
Yadav mentioned about his father, Lalu Prasad, who could not attend the rally but had a message for all his supporters that he is fit and ready to take on Modi and his government. “Modi ji talks about guarantees. In your state (Maharashtra), he broke up Shiv Sena and NCP, but in my case, he stole my uncle from me. Will he give a guarantee to send my uncle back to me?” asked Yadav. He underlined around 5 lakh jobs that were created in his 17-month stint as the Deputy CM of Bihar. And dared the Modi government to show how many jobs he has generated in the last 10 years.
The showstopper was Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), a constituent of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), whose chief Prakash Ambedkar said either he will fight unitedly or separately but will take on the BJP. Ambedkar is yet to reply to the MVA proposal of four out of 48 Lok Sabha seats for contest next month.
Ambedkar also gave an example of Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee who has decided to go solo in Lok Sabha election.
In the 2014 and 2019 Parliamentary elections, the VBA managed to bag most votes of Dalits, Muslims and other castes. The split votes helped the alliance between the BJP and Shiv Sena that won the polls by winning 41 of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.
The Ambedkar-led outfit gained influence after it was rechristened to VBA from earlier Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh on March 19, 2019. In 2019, it secured a collective 41 lakh votes from all 48 Lok Sabha constituencies.


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