Vishakhapatnam, Mar 31 : Notwithstanding dissension in the “Mahagadbandhan” (grand alliance), the Opposition on Sunday pledged to oust the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre out of power in the Lok Sabha elections for “systematically destroying” the Constitution, communal harmony and social fabric of the nation.
Addressing a mammoth election rally, sponsored by the Telugu Desam Party, here, Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh, Ms Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal and Chandrababu Naidu respectively, appealed to the people to save the country from the ‘attack’ on values, institutions and basic tenets of the constitution.
The Chief Ministers of the non-BJP ruled three states are expected to discuss the national scenario and work out strategies as the first phase of polling begins on April 11. Andhra Pradesh too is going to polls on April 11 for 25 Lok Sabha and 125 Assembly seats.
Hitting out at the saffron party, the leaders alleged, “The BJP has divided India in the name of caste and religion and created an environment of hatred. Our identity today has become more of our religion and caste rather than being Indian.”
They took a jibe at the Prime Minister for making “false promises” to the people and farmers, but ‘nothing’ was served to them. “The Prime Minister assured 10 crore jobs to the unemployed, but took away 4.5 crores jobs from their hands,” the leaders alleged.
Today’s rally was, infact, being viewed as a show of strength in favour of Mr Chandrababu Naidu who had withdrawn from the NDA, alleging non-fulfillment of promises, including grant of special status to Andhra Pradesh, by the Central Government. He had been in the forefront for bringing opposition parties together and stitching a grand alliance to defeat the BJP in the elections. Besides the Modi government at the Centre, he is campaigning against YSR Congress Party in his home state.
Several local leaders from TDP accused the Centre for its “step motherly” treatment to the southern states.
The campaign is in full swing in the state with political parties canvassing for their candidates. Several national leaders of Mahagadbandhan are expected to address the election meetings.
Earlier National Conference leader Dr Farooq Abdullah and Mr Kejriwal had campaigned alongwith Chandrababu Naidu at Kadapa and Vijayawada here respectively, urging the people to vote for the TDP, seeing the resurgence of coalition politics as an alternative to the present NDA regime at the Centre. The TDP had accused the present dispensation at the centre of discrimination against Andhra Pradesh.