BJP, Oppn take out marches over Constitution

BJP, Oppn take out marches over Constitution

Setting the tone for future politics, leaders of various Opposition parties and organisations gathered on Republic Day under one umbrella and  took out a march for what they described as "saving the Constitution".

In a bid to counter this,  the Maharashtra unit of the BJP organised a 'Tiranga Yatra' in Mumbai and all the districts of Maharashtra.

The 'Save Constitution' rally  started from the statue of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Constitution, near Oval Maidan and ended at the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the legendary Maratha warrior,  near the Gateway of India.

It was  seen as an attempt to consolidate anti-BJP forces ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and forge an Opposition unity to counter the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"It was a silent morcha… There will be no banners, no speeches," said Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana leader Raju Shetti, convenor of the 'Save Constitution' march.

NCP president Sharad Pawar, senior Congress leaders and former Maharashtra chief ministers Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D Raja, former Jammu  and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, TMC  leader Dinesh Tripathi and  Patidar Andolan leader Hardik Patil were present at the rally.

"Generally, there is a feeling that there is an assault on the Constitution. We cannot keep mum," said Pawar, who was the agriculture minister in the UPA government.

BJP holds 'Tiranga Yatra'  

As part of the 'Tiranga Yatra', BJP leaders went to the Chaitabhoomi and paid tributes to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.

"The Constitution is intact... what was held today was a 'save party' rally and not the 'Save Constitution' rally," Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, lashing out at the Opposition parties.

"They were in power... they did rampant corruption...  didn't  remember the Constitution then... the Constitution is our mother," he said.

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