I.N.D.I.A. bloc leaders show strength at Delhi rally, question Kejriwal's arrest ahead of elections

Mar 31, 2024

The Opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc leaders held a 'Loktantra Bachao' rally which saw a massive public turnout on Sunday (March 31). The rally, at Delhi's Ramlila Ground, was held as mark of protest against the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The event saw opposition leaders like Congress' Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, RJD's Tejashwi Yadav, NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) leader Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D Raja, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, NC's Farooq Abdullah and Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren among others in attendance. Sunita Kejriwal represented her husband who is presently in Enforcement Directorate custody. She also read out a letter written by the jailed Delhi CM. 

Rahul Gandhi accuses BJP of 'match-fixing'

In a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress MP Rahul Gandhi accused the ruling party of engaging in "match-fixing." Gandhi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appointed 'umpires' to ensure the BJP's victory by surpassing the 400-seat mark in the upcoming elections. He said, "Without EVMs, match-fixing, social media, and pressurising the press, they cannot win more than 180 seats."

He further said, "The only goal of match fixing is to snatch the Constitution from the hands of the people of India. Media can be bought, but you cannot buy the voice of Hindustan. No power in the world can suppress the voice of India."

Sunita Kejriwal reads Delhi CM's six 'guarantees' at rally

Sunita Kejriwal read out the message from Arvind Kejriwal. Describing him as a 'lion', she asked the people if he should resign, as being demanded by the BJP. She attacked the BJP over the Delhi CM's arrest and said that the government "will not be able to keep him in jail for long".

Reading out his letter, Sunita said, "If you give the  I.N.D.I.A. bloc the responsibility, we will build a great India. I give six guarantees. First, we will make arrangements for 24-hour electricity across the country. Second, we will make the electricity of the poor free across the country. Third, we will make excellent government school in every village. Fourth, we will make Mohalla Clinic in every village and mohalla. We will make multi-speciality government hospital in every district. We will make arrangements for free treatment of every citizen of the country. Fifth, will give appropriate cost of crops to farmers according to MSP. Sixth, we will give Delhi the status of a state."

"Mother India is in pain, this tyranny won't work. My husband getting lots of blessings. People of Delhi have faced injustice in last 75 years; we will make Delhi full state if INDIA bloc comes to power. If voted to power, INDIA bloc to fulfill 6 guarantees, including good hospitals and education," she further said.

Priyanka Gandhi puts forward 5 demands of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra put forward 5 demands of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc. Here are the demands: 

  1. Election Commission should ensure level playing field in Lok Sabha elections
  2. Election Commission should stop the action taken by investigative agencies against opposition parties with the aim of rigging the elections
  3. Hemant Soren ji And Arvind Kejriwal should be released immediately. 
  4. The forcible action of financially strangulating opposition political parties during elections should be stopped immediately.
  5. Allegations of vendetta, extortion and money laundering by BJP using election donations. SIT should be formed under the supervision of Supreme Court to investigate.

She said, "I think that they (BJP) are trapped in illusion. I want to remind them of a thousand-year-old tale and its message. When Lord Ram was fighting for the truth, He did not have power or resources, He did not even have a chariot. Ravan had a chariot, resources, an army and gold. Lord Ram had the truth, hope, faith, modesty, patience and courage."

'ED, CBI and IT are working like cells of BJP,' says RJD's Tejashwi Yadav

Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav addressed the rally at Ramlila Ground In Delhi. He attacked the ruling party on their arrogant behaviour and said, "You are a cheater, you make promises and then forget them. Modi ji, you will do this every day. If the public gets upset, you will wring your hands."

He further said, "Just as Modi ji had come like a storm, now he will go like a storm. The people in power have become dictators and arrogant. The public will answer them."

Champai Soren on Hemant Soren's arrest 

Jharkhand CM Champai Soren attacked the Centre on the arrest of former Chief Minister Hemant Soren. "We are continuously fighting with ED, CBI, IT. Our leader Hemant Soren has never bowed down, nor will he ever bow down. In Jharkhand, when we worked for the upliftment of Dalits, backward classes and tribals, BJP felt pain in its stomach. We are the product of struggle, we are all one and will save democracy by ending a dictatorial government like BJP," he said. 

Meanwhile, JMM leader and Hemant Soren's wife Kalpana Soren said, "Two months ago Hemant Soren ji was put in jail. The people are the people, the people are powerful. The people of India are the largest. Now it is the people who have to overthrow the dictator. Jharkhand will not bow down  I.N.D.I.A. will not bow down."

'Attack on democracy and Constitution': Sharad Pawar on Kejriwal's arrest

Sharad Pawar on Sunday condemened the arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren at the rally. He said, "The action against two prominent leaders of the country is an attack on our democracy and Constitution. Today it is our responsibility to save the Constitution and democracy given by Baba Saheb ji. All of you use your vote properly and defeat them."

'You have to decide if you want democracy or dictatorship,' says Kharge

Speaking at the rally, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said that the voters have to decide whether they want dictatorship or democracy. He said, "Those who support dictatorship need to be kicked out of the country... BJP and RSS are like poison. You will die even if you taste poison." 

'400 will not be crossed, 400 will be defeated': Akhilesh Yadav

Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pardesh and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav said, "400 will not be crossed, 400 will be defeated. My appeal is – defeat BJP in this election, send them back. Save democracy by voting, save the constitution by voting."

Lok Sabha elections 2024

The seven-phase Lok Sabha polls, the world’s biggest election exercise, will kick off on April 19 with the counting of votes set to take place on June 4 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes a bid for a third consecutive term in office.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said over 97 crore voters – 49.7 crore males and 47.1 crore females – were eligible to cast their vote in the polling process spread over 44 days and across 10.5 lakh polling booths. The elections will begin on April 19 followed by subsequent phases on April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1.