In Big Opposition Rally In Mumbai, A Mention Of Putin To Slam BJP

Lok Sabha elections 2024: The event at Mumbai's Shivaji Park helmed by Rahul Gandhi saw several Opposition leaders in attendance

Leaders of the INDIA bloc meet in Mumbai's Shivaji Park


A day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi ended his 63-day-long Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Mumbai, members of the opposition bloc INDIA also met in the city today, where they stressed on the need for a "national Mahagathbandhan". The yatra had started from violence-hit Manipur.

"We are not fighting against a person or a party. There is a word 'Shakti' in Hinduism. We are fighting against that Shakti," Rahul Gandhi said.

Targeting the BJP-led Centre for its alleged use of central agencies and EVMs (electronic voting machines) against the opposition, he said the ruling party won't be able to win the Lok Sabha elections without "EVMs, ED (Enforcement Directorate) and CBI".

The event at Mumbai's Shivaji Park helmed by Rahul Gandhi saw several Opposition leaders in attendance, including Tejashwi Yadav, MK Stalin, Mallikarjun Kharge, Sharad Pawar, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Uddhav Thackeray, and Mehbooba Mufti.

"Election dates have been announced... We have all come to Mumbai today. Rahul Gandhi had sent an invitation," Tejashwi Yadav said.

The Opposition rally at Shivaji Park is being billed as the biggest-ever show of strength of the INDIA bloc, in the presence of the entire Gandhi family, to launch the bloc's campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.

Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray, citing presidential elections in Russia, said, "Putin is contesting an election in Russia but no one is in front of him. They (the BJP) want to create a similar situation here".

Today was the final day of the Russian presidential election that is guaranteed to cement Vladimir Putin's rule.

Addressing the gathering, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said, "The BJP speaks of winning more than 400 Lok Sabha seats in order to change the Constitution... People in the BJP are afraid of Gandhi in Rahul Gandhi's name."

Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken a swipe at the Congress while campaigning for the BJP in Andhra Pradesh. PM Modi, alluding to the INDIA bloc's meeting in Mumbai, said the Congress's agenda is to "use and throw" its partners.

"In the NDA (National Democratic Alliance), we take everyone along, but on the other hand the Congress party's only agenda is to use and throw allies. Today, the Congress had to make the INDIA bloc out of compulsion, but their thinking is that only," PM Modi said.

When his turn came to speak at Shivaji Parj, the Rashtriya Janaya Dal's Tejashwi Yadav said the INDIA bloc's fight is not against PM Modi or Home Minister Amit Shah personally, but against the "ideology of hate."

Sharad Pawar, who now heads the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar), said Mahatma Gandhi gave the 'Quit India' call from Mumbai, and so INDIA bloc's leaders should do the same from Mumbai to oust the BJP from power.

Uddhav Thackeray launched a direct attack, "When people unite, dictatorship ends."

Voting for the Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 19 and end on June 1; counting is on June 4.