Centre playing divisive politics: Janata Parivar

Centre playing divisive politics: Janata Parivar

Erstwhile Janata Parivar leaders Lalu Yadav, Nitish Kumar, Mulayam Singh Yadav and H D Deve Gowda came on one platform here on Monday to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This was the first major protest organised by the group of political parties preparing to come together as the "Samajwadi Janata Dal".

At Monday’s “mahadharna”, or massive protest, leaders of the six constituents of the erstwhile Janata Parivar called for larger unity in the opposition while accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Modi of playing divisive politics and deceiving people.

They charged the prime minister with leaving his party’s poll promises unfulfilled, including the one of bringing back black money within 100 days of coming to power.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was expected to attend the “mahadharna,” but sent a letter of support which was read out to the participating leaders instead. TMC parliamentarian Derek O’Brien, through whom Mamata sent her letter, did not turn up for the event.

At the protest venue, audio clips of previous speeches by Modi, the then BJP president Rajnath Singh and Baba Ramdev were played to point out how the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had failed keep its promise on bringing back black money. “What happened to the promise that Rs 15 lakh will reach the pockets of the poor once black money is brought back. You should ask BJP leaders whether they will give you the money in cash or cheque. It is most unfortunate that the prime minister of the country is telling lies,” said Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar.

The former Bihar chief minister challenged Modi to fulfil the promises he had made during this year’s Lok Sabha campaign or step down as prime minister instead. He asserted that the time had come for opposition parties to keep aside prejudices to unite against the NDA government.

“From our identities as separate parties, we have to merge into a single party. An agreement has been reached on this. Mulayam Singhji has to work out the modalities. Let us take a vow now. We should contact others as well. Let us make a comprehensive Opposition, setting aside our prejudices,” Nitish Kumar said.

Lalu stressed that it was time to forget the past and come together to script a new chapter. The Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo cited how Nitish and he had joined hands even though there were talks of differences between them.

JD-U president Sharad Yadav, who is spearheading the move to unite opposition leaders of the erstwhile Janata Parivar, accused the NDA government of drifting away from its poll plank of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” (together with all, development for all).

“You have not got the mandate for this Kamandal Baba, Chimta Baba and Balti Baba. You had not sought votes for them. If you think that everybody should adopt the same religion. Seek a fresh mandate on it in elections,” Yadav said, attacking the BJP on the issue of religious conversion.

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