Rahul, Kejriwal share stage at Kisan Mukti March

Congress president Rahul Gandhi. (Image courtesy ANI)

The farmers' Parliament March on Friday brought Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on a single platform against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first time as Opposition leaders vowed to oust the BJP from power.

As the two-day 'Kisan Mukti March' demanding a special Parliament session to discuss agrarian crisis concluded, several Opposition leaders from NCP chief Sharad Pawar to CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury to National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah among others tore into the Modi government for "failing to fulfill" poll promises made to the farmers.

The leaders from the Congress, the NCP, the Samajwadi Party, the Trinamool Congress, the AAP, the CPM, the CPI, the CPI(ML) Liberation, the RLD, the National Conference and the Lok Tantrik Janata Dal among others, who were at the protest site, threw their weight behind a demand for loan waiver and minimum support price as well as a special session.

Some of the leaders also pointed to the Sangh Parivar raising the Ram temple rhetoric ahead of elections, echoing a slogan raised during the protest march from Ramlila Maidan to Parliament Street 'Ayodhya nahi, Karza maaf chahiye' (We don't need Ayodhya, but a debt waiver).


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The politically significant gesture came towards the end of the march when Kejriwal reached the venue while Rahul was concluding his speech where he sought to corner Modi by saying, the farmers were not asking for "Ambani's planes" but "reward for their sweat and blood".

"You will have to waive the loans," Rahul said, a theme which Kejriwal too echoed in his speech later.

As he concluded and walked to his chair, Rahul shook hands with Opposition leaders, including Kejriwal.

The top leadership have so far not shared a stage as their parties' have a strong antipathy towards each other due to the AAP's anti-Congress campaign in Delhi.

So far, the Congress has kept the AAP out of the efforts for Opposition unity owing to its political considerations in Delhi though senior leaders like Yechury and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee among others had attempted to bridge the gap.


Cartoon by Sajith Kumar

Recently, during a protest organised by RJD scion Tejashwi Yadav which saw the presence of Rahul and Kejriwal, the two made sure that they do not share the stage.

Earlier during H D Kumaraswamy's swearing-in, Rahul and Kejriwal were at the venue but avoided being photographed together when there was a show of unity.

However, this time they were on a single frame but ensured that they did not hold each other's hand.

While Kejriwal wanted Modi to show "at least 10% of the keenness, which he shows to Adanis and Ambanis to the farmers", Pawar warned that they will change the government when the time comes.

"There is no compassion for farmers in the minds and hearts of those who rule the country... Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was more compassionate to farmers (compared to Modi)," he said.

Yechury said, "the nearby police station (Parliament Street Police Station) was where Bhagat Singh was detained. He used a bomb to force a tone-deaf British government to hear. If this government does not listen, then there will be a bigger explosion. We no longer need bombs, we have the vote."

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Rahul, Kejriwal share stage at Kisan Mukti March

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