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BSP drafts Satish Mishra for Mamata's mega opposition rally

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: January 17, 2019  | 19:12 IST

Kolkata, Jan 17 (PTI) With West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee planning a big anti-BJP show on Saturday here, Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has drafted its senior leader Satish Mishra for the mega opposition rally to be hosted by Trinamool Congress. Besides the host, the rally is also expected to see leaders of Congress, TDP, SP, RJD, JD(S), NCP, DMK, National Conference and Aam Admi Party (AAP) among others sharing the dias to give a clarion call to oust the BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) coalition government at the Centre in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. "The rally will sound the death knell for BJP," Banerjee told reporters here while visiting the Brigade Parade grounds to check arrangements for the January 19 rally. A senior TMC leader said it is a big achievement that all opposition parties will be on one platform ahead of the general elections, making it a defining moment in Indian politics. The party leaders said the BSP has confirmed its participation. Though BSP chief Mayawati will not come for the rally, the party's senior leader Satish Chandra Mishra would attend the rally, they added. The meeting will also be attended by SP's Akhilesh Yadav and RLD's Ajit Singh and Jayant Chaudhury. With the BSP confirming its attendance, almost all major opposition parties the Congress, the NCP, the National Conference, the SP, the AAP, the DMK, the JD(S), and the TDP would participate in the rally, a TMC leader said. Among those to be present at the rally include Rashtriya Janata Dal's Tejashwi Yadav, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal and Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda. National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and DMK's M K Stalin and many other important leaders will also be present. The TMC said the rally will see participation of non-BJP parties from "Kashmir to Kanyakumari". However, the Left parties, led by the CPI(M), have decided not to attend the rally. Congress will be represented by senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge, but Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi will not be present. The TMC said the January 19 "rally of all rallies" will sound the "death knell" for the BJP government at the Centre and "pave the way for a much-needed change for the better of our great nation." The Trinamool Congress also said it will break all records in terms of people attending the rally at the Brigade Parade grounds. "This time you will witness that all the previous records at Brigade Grounds will be broken and will remain a unbreakable record for next several decades," TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said. The iconic ground has hosted several important political rallies of Kolkata, including the 1977 victory rally convened by the Left Front after it came to power that year. In 1984, just after the chief ministers conclave, under the leadership of the then Left stalwarts Jyoti Basu and Harkrishan Singh Surjeet, a mega opposition rally was convened here and was attended by several top leaders like N T Rama Rao, Farooq Abdullah and Ramkrishna Hedge. In 1998, just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls that time, the CPI(M) had convened a opposition rally at Brigade grounds, which was attended by whose's who of Indian politics. For the Saturday rally, altogether five stages will be set up at venue. The main stage will have Banerjee and top leaders of various opposition parties. Two other stages have been built on the right hand side of the main stage which will have senior TMC leaders, MPs, MLAs and ministers. The intellectuals will be seated at two other stages on the left hand side of the main stage. There will be 200 LED screens across the venue and Kolkata police has decided to use drones to monitor the security arrangements. Thousands of Kolkata police personel will be deputed in an around the venue to ensure that no untoward incident takes place. PTI PNT SNS BJ BJ

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