Kolkata Rally: Mamata Banerjee said a new government will be formed at the centre
Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee's mega rally for a grand alliance of opposition parties kicked off this noon. More than 20 national leaders, including three present chief ministers Arvind Kejriwal, Chandrababu Naidu and HD Kumaraswamy; and former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Akhilesh Yadav and Gegong Apang are attending the rally. The event -- called the "United India Rally" -- aims at uniting various political parties against the Narendra Modi-led BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Although the Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi decided to skip the event, the party sent senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
The TMC has made all efforts to make the event a grand success. Lakhs of TMC supporters and workers who arrived from various corners of the state have been put up in the outskirts of the city and in some auditoriums and stadiums.
A thick security blanket has been thrown on the sprawling Brigade Parade Ground - the venue for the mega rally - to prevent any untoward incident.
Here are the LIVE updates on the TMC's mega opposition rally:
Kolkata Opposition Rally Top Quotes: Don't Worry About Who Will Be PM, Says Mamata Banerjee
An ensemble of opposition leaders got together today in Kolkata at a rally organised by Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, and attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party, the BJP, with savage barbs. The rally was attended by several prominent opposition leaders, including Akhilesh Yadav, Chandrababu Naidu, MK Stalin, HD Deve Gowda, Farooq Abdullah and others
BJP has said the Opposition Alliance will lack unity, that there will be fights for the Prime Minister's post. I assure you that all of us have not come together for any such post. The country needs change and that's why we have come together, Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar said.
Moved by the strong spirit of unity among the people at the mega rally in Kolkata. I appreciate the extraordinary efforts of Mamata Banerjee, Chandrababu Naidu tweeted.
TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee also said that all the leaders have unanimously decided to meet the Election Commission.
"This meeting will transform India. The country is in danger, democracy is under threat... we have to unite India," Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said.
"We all congratulate Mamata Banerjee for this historic event. The coming together of so many parties is historic itself," senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said.
The leaders who participated in Mamata Banerjee's big meet today are now addressing a press conference.
Chandrababu Naidu meets former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and Arvind Kejriwal "They ask, who is PM candidate of opposition parties... We say people will decide": Akhilesh Yadav at the Kolkata Rally
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav Saturday said the coming together of the SP and the BSP has led to a wave of happiness in the country and left a worried BJP to hold meeting after meeting to devise a strategy to win even one seat in Uttar Pradesh, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
Speaking at a mega opposition rally, Akhilesh Yadav also sought to give a reply to the BJP questioning the opposition parties about their prime ministerial candidate.
"They ask, who is PM candidate of opposition parties... We say people will decide the PM candidate from our side. But from their side, this name (Narendra Modi) has disappointed the country, who is your another name?" Mr Yadav said, quoted by PTI.
DMK president MK Stalin on Saturday said the upcoming general elections will be akin to the second freedom struggle for people of India to fight against the "radical Hinduism" of the BJP, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
"The next (Lok Sabha) elections will be the second fight for Independence. We will stop this poison of Hindutva and radical Hinduism from spreading. Our call is to defeat Modi and save the country," he said at the Brigade Parade Grounds.
"You have let down youth of this country": Mamata Banerjee at Kolkata Rally
"Despite tall promises, you have failed to create jobs for the youth," says Mamata Banerjee.
"We have come to a point where we must stand up against injustice," said Ms Banerjee.
"My appeal to you all is that please do not worry on who will be the next prime minister. We will figure that out later. But the job to be done right now that is that to defeat the BJP and Narendra Modi. Remember one thing, that even after all these warnings today, if you go ahead and vote the BJP to power, then I guarantee you that they will leave you penniless. They will take away all your hard earned money," said Ms Banerjee.
"The BJP are on the backfoot. They know that they have missed their chance. They had got a great chance and they messed it up. They know that no matter what they say now, or what they promise,... no matter how many nice things they say, their Achhe Din won't come again," she said.
"Why should we spare you?" asks Mamata Banerjee at Kolkata rally
"Modiji's expiry date is over just as a medicine packet's expiry date gets over. Its time for a new morning now," says Mamata Banerjee at the Kolkata rally, organised by Trinamool Congress.
"It is the soil of Bengal that has shown the way, even before Independence. West Bengal has always led the way," Ms Banerjee said.
"When you have not spared anyone, including all those politicians on this stage, then why should we spare you?" asks Mamata Banerjee.
"Modi is factory, wholesaler, distributor of lies": Tejashwi Yadav at Kolkata Rally
"I was late because of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. There is a need to be united. Understand one thing, if you're Chowkidaar, people are Thaanedaar (police)," says Tejashwi Yadav.
"We're not afraid of intimidation tactics. We have to save the country," he said.
"Modi is a factory, wholesaler, distributor of lies. He will say one lie and give 10 for free," he said.
Read Here: EVM Is A Chor Machine: Farooq Abdullah At Huge Opposition Get-Together In Kolkata
At Mamata Banerjee's massive show of opposition strength in Kolkata ahead of the upcoming national election, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah insisted on the return of the ballot paper for a fair selection process. Calling the electronic voting machine (EVM) a "thief", the National Conference leader said no country in the world uses this machine.
Read Here: Lok Sabha Elections 2019: At Mega Rally, Opposition Says Unite Against Politics Of Hate - 10 Facts
The "United India Rally" being organised by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee at Kolkata's Brigade Parade Ground today has received a roaring response from opposition leaders as well as the public, with lakhs gathering at the venue. Among those on the stage are Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, DMK chief MK Stalin, Loktantrik Janata Dal chief Sharad Yadav, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and Nationalist Congress Party head Sharad Pawar.
"Have one aim and that is change," says Shatrughan Sinha at Kolkata Rally
"We have one aim, that is change. I am seeing a lot of the younger generation. You have a lot of energy. I have been asked, why do you run away from the BJP? If telling the truth is running away, then yes I am a Baaghi. But my loyalty is to Indian people. I am trying to show the party a mirror," says Shatrughan Sinha at the Kolkata rally.
"In era of Vajpayee there was Lok Shahi (people's power). In this era, there is tanashahi (dictatorship)," says Shatrughan Sinha.
"Have never seen such a Jaandar, Shaandar aur Damdaar rally": Shatrughan Sinha at Kolkata Rally
"Have never seen such a jaandar, shaandar aur damdaar rally (lively, grand and powerful)," says Shatrughan Sinha at the Kolkata rally.
"I've prevented them from looting public money," says PM Modi, reacting on Mahagathbandhan
"My actions against corruption have infuriated some people. It's but natural for them to get angry as I've prevented them from looting public money," PM Modi said, in reaction to Mahagathbandhan.
"Consequently, they have now formed an alliance called Mahagathbandhan," he said.
"With 282 seats in the last election, instead of building a strong nation, he wants to destroy secular system of nations. All leaders committed to secular values, the main task before us is how to move forward," says HD Deve Gowda at the Kolkata rally.
Mallikarjun Kharge at Kolkata Rally: "He says na khaunga, na khane dunga, but you're giving to corporates"
"They have so many scams. PM says Na Khaunga, Na Khaane Dunga (Won't take bribes, won't let anyone take bribes). But he's giving to Adani, Ambani," said Mallikarjun Kharge at the Kolkata Rally.
"Where are the 2 crore jobs promised? The jobs that were there, they also went," says Mallikarjun Kharge.
BSP-SP alliance in Uttar Pradesh has started the process of uprooting the "anti-Dalit" and "anti-Minority": BSP leader Satish Mishra
Senior Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Chandra Mishra Saturday said the BSP-SP alliance in Uttar Pradesh has started the process of uprooting the "anti-Dalit" and "anti-Minority" NDA government at the centre, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
Addressing the opposition parties rally here he said the mega rally organised by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is a sequence of the process of SP-BSP coming together to defeat the BJP led government at the centre, according to PTI.
He said this "successful" rally has put its stamp that in order to keep safe Baba Saheb Ambedkar''s constitution it is necessary to defeat the BJP government.
Mr Mishra, who participated in the opposition rally as an emissary of BSP chief Mayawati sat next to Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on the dais.
"There will be internal fighting for the post of PM in the BJP": Sharad Pawar
"Unemployment is increasing. Farmers are committing suicide. People responsible should be thrown out," said Sharad Pawar at the Kolkata rally.
"There will be internal fighting for the post of PM in the BJP. We need to change the country," he said.
Tejashwi Yadav set to attend the Kolkata rally
"Publicity PM, not performing PM," says Chandrababu Naidu at Kolkata Rally
"This PM is a publicity PM. We want a performing PM," says Chandrababu Naidu. "Its a historic day, stalwarts of national and regional parties: They gave slogans. Jan Dhan, Mudra loan, good governance, smart cities, bringing back black money. Save Democracy, Save India," he said.
"Chase Modi-Amit Shah from the country if you're a true patriot": Arvind Kejriwal at Kolkata Rally
"Chase Modi-Amit Shah away from the country if you're a true patriot," says Arvind Kejriwal.
"What Pakistan couldn't do, Modi and Amit Shah did in five years": Arvind Kejriwal at Kolkata Rally
"Lots of powers have tried to weaken India. It was Pakistan's dream to divide India for so many years. What Pakistan couldn't manage to do, Modi and Amit Shah did in 5 years," says Arvind Kejriwal.
"If Modi and Amit Shah come back to power, they will divide the country. People here have come here with one dream: to remove Modi and Amit Shah."
"Amit Shah said if in 2019 BJP comes power, then it will stay till 2050. If they come back, they will change the constitution," said Arvind Kejriwal.
"When crops are destroyed, Modi and Amit Shah surrender farmers to insurance companies": Arvind Kejriwal at Kolkata Rally
"Farmers are committing suicide. When their crops are destroyed, Modi and Amit Shah surrender farmers to insurance companies. Who owns insurance companies? Modi's friends," says Arvind Kejriwal
"After the BSP and SP came together, the BJP are in a frenzy": Akhilesh Yadav
"After the BSP and SP came together, the BJP are in a frenzy... they are holding meetings upon meetings... meetings upon meetings in a worry on how to even win 1 seat now in Uttar Pradesh," says Akhilesh Yadav at Mamata Banerjee's Kolkata rally.
"We have done a gathbandhan with the people": Akhilesh Yadav
"We have done a gathbandhan (alliance) with the people," says Akhilesh Yadav. "BJP spread hatred and divided people. Its a name that disappointed the people."
"If Tamil Nadu can show BJP a zero, then so can other states," Akhilesh Yadav said.
"How happy we will be if there will be a new PM," says Akhilesh Yadav at Kolkata Rally
Akhilesh Yadav is speaking at the Kolkata rally.
"Today, there is a threat to the rights of the people. The talk that happens in West Bengal will show in the entire country," says Akhilesh Yadav.
"People thought there will be no alliance between SP-BSP, but it happened. There is a new year. We congratulated each other. How happy we will be if there will be a new PM," he said.
"Return of Modi will take India back by 50 years": MK Stalin
"The return of Narendra Modi will take India back by 50 years," says MK Stalin. "Modi and Amit Shah are scared to come to West Bengal. All parties should realise and unite to defeat Modi government," he said.
"The globe-trotting PM's achievements are hike of petrol, diesel and groceries": MK Stalin
"The globe-trotting PM's achievements are hike of petrol, diesel and groceries," MK Stalin said.
"Demonetisation is nothing but corruption. The return of Modi will take back India by 50 years," he said.
"General Elections in May will be second freedom struggle of India": MK Stalin at Kolkata rally
The upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections "will be the second freedom struggle of India," says MK Stalin.
Scenes from the Kolkata rally. Pics Here "EVM is chor machine. We need to have paper ballots," said Farooq Abdullah
"Its not about removing one person. Its about saving the country. After 70 years, we are facing challenges in the country," Farooq Abdullah said at Mamata Banerjee's rally.
"BJP is responsible for the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. I'm a Muslim, but am a part of India," he said.
"If they say tussi great ho, there will be no notice. If you raise your voice, they'll say you're anti-national": Abhishek Singhvi
"If today we sit here and say tussi great ho (you're great) there will be no notice. If you raise your voice and say something then they will say you are anti-national. They're spreading hatred," said Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
"You are seeing a rainbow of colours and parties. They are all different colours, but also represents diversity of the country": Abhishek Manu Singhvi
"You are seeing a rainbow of colours and parties. They are all different colours, but also represents diversity of country. But its one rainbow," says senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
"We don't want Modi government. There has never been politics of revenge. There were so many governments. Vajpayee government was also there. We have never seen a government where hatred and revenge was made the norm," he said.
JMM leader Hemant Soren called for "uprooting" the BJP from India at Kolkata rally
JMM leader Hemant Soren on Saturday called for "uprooting" the BJP from the country and said the opposition parties to give a "fitting" reply to the "communal" party in the next Lok Sabha polls, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
Speaking at the mammoth united opposition rally hosted by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Mr Soren said the way BJP is running the country will create a "violent and disturbing time for the country," according to PTI.
"We the opposition parties have to give a fitting reply to the communal reply to the communal forces ... We will have to uproot BJP not only from the Centre but also from the states," the former chief minister of Jharkhand said, according to PTI.
""There is one man who united all of us. That man is Narendra Modi": Arun Shourie
"There's no other government which has lied as much as this government did," says Arun Shourie.
"No other government has made the lunatic decision of demonetisation. GST has been implemented poorly," said Arun Shourie.
"There is one man who united all of us. That man is Narendra Modi," he said.
"They said 'Sabka saath, Sabka vikaas.' They took 'sabka saath,' but did 'sabka vinaash'" said Yashwant Sinha
"While uniting, we will fight the elections. They said 'Sabka saath, Sabka vikaas.' They took 'sabka saath,' but did 'sabka vinaash'," said Yashwant Sinha.
"Modi is not an issue, issues are the issue": Yashwant Sinha at Kolkata rally
"Why are we all here at this rally? While I left BJP, but I know what they will say after this rally. They will say, we collected here to remove one man: the country's PM. But I want to say here, that we are here against their thinking. Because we know that nowadays there is no democratic institution left that they haven't destroyed. To protect democracy, we are gathered here. In front of us, issues are the issue, Modi is not an issue."
"West Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow," says RLD's Jayant Chaudhury
"Mamata Didi has shown it today. What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow," says Jayant Chaudhury.
"All parties have to come together to defeat BJP, RSS": Jignesh Mevani at Kolkata rally
The ''Mahagathbandhan'' (Grand Alliance) will ensure the defeat of the RSS and the BJP, Mevani said, addressing the massive opposition rally at Brigade Parade Grounds, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
"The country is passing through an unprecedented crisis with the exploitation of the poor, minorities and dalits in the four-and-half-year rule of the BJP," the independent MLA from Gujarat said, according to PTI.
"All parties have to come together to defeat the BJP, RSS," Jignesh Mevani said.
"We thank you didi," says Hardik Patel at United India rally
"That you are fighting for the youth and constitution of the country, we thank you didi," said Hardik Patel, referring to Mamata Banerjee, while speaking at a rally organised by the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata.
United India Rally: "Subhash Chandra Bose fought against white people, so that we can fight against thieves," Hardik Patel says
In Kolkata at Mamata Banerjee's United India rally, Hardik Patel said, "Subhash Chandra Bose fought against white people, so that we can fight against thieves."
Large number of people arrived at Sealdah station to participate at the rally at Brigade Parade ground.
Mamata Banerjee had been touring the country since the past one year in an effort to shore up alliance for the Lok Sabha elections.
As many as 10,000 police personnel have been deployed and around 400 police pickets have been set up to ensure foolproof security.
Policemen in plain clothes, personnel of the Rapid Action Force and Quick Response Team have been deployed at the rally venue.
Samajwadi Party leader Danish Ali said that the rally was an effort to show opposition unity against the BJP. "This is the fight against the divisive forces that want to divide India. This is the effort to fight those forces. We are ready to do anything for a united opposition," he said.
Cultural programme has started at Brigade rally.
Mamata Banerjee arrives at Brigade Parade ground. The Trinamool Congress is trying to project her as the next prime minister.
Senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who is a minister in the Narendra Modi government, said today that the opposition leaders are joining hands to save their political career. "Tired of their defeats in the political battle, these leaders are now trying their luck by forming an alliance," he said.
Lakhs of people have turned up for the United India rally.
Except for Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the CPI(M)-led Left Front, almost all the opposition parties are taking part in the rally.
"Rally Of Corrupt Leaders": Babul Supriyo Dismisses TMC's Opposition Rally
Dismissing the opposition rally, BJP leader Babul Supriyo said the opposition was trying to forge an alliance to save themselves from the Narendra Modi government. In a tweet, Mr Supriyo said that the rally was a show of "hypocrisy".
"A rally of unity of corrupt leaders. Kolkata will witness a show of hypocrisy today. It is an unholy alliance of political parties for personal survival. #NaMoAgain #AbkiBaarPhirModiSarkar," he tweeted.
Members of the Adivasi delegation are also participating in the rally in Kolkata. The delegation walked from Jangalmahal to Kolkata, a distance of about 100 kms.
Large number of people have arrived at Brigade Parade Grounds since early morning.
The "United India Rally" is seen by many as an attempt to portray Ms Banerjee as a leader who can rally secular forces against the BJP and emerge as a potential challenger to PM Modi.
According to police, the Brigade Parade Ground can hold around seven lakh people.
Large scale preparations have been made to ensure that it is a complete success. Besides the huge podiums, 20 watch towers have been erected and 1,000 microphones and 30 LED screens put up so that the spectators can see and hear the speeches of the leaders clearly.
Mamata Banerjee said the rally is aimed at building a "stronger, progressive and united India". She tweeted this morning:
More than 20 national leaders, including three present chief ministers Arvind Kejriwal, Chandrababu Naidu and H D Kumaraswamy will attend the meeting, TMC sources said. Most of them have already arrived in the city.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is holding the mega Opposition rally against the Narendra Modi government.