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SP-BSP, AAP share stage with Cong, Kharge says 'even if hearts don't meet, hands should'

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: January 19, 2019  | 21:52 IST

Kolkata, Jan 19 (PTI) As the Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge shared the stage here with the SP, BSP and AAP, which have been cold to a tie-up with his party, the veteran leader asserted that "even if hearts don't meet, hands should". At the rally by Trinamool Congress which was projected as a show of opposition unity, Kharge appealed for a common meeting ground in pursuance of a bigger goal of removing the BJP from power at the centre. At the end of his speech, the Congress leader said in Hindi, "Manzil door hain, rasta kathin hain, phir bhi pahuchna hain. Dil mile na mile, kamse kam haath mila kar chalo (The destination is far and the road is difficult, but still we have to reach there. Whether our hearts meet or not, we should walk holding hands)." Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party senior leader Satish Chandra Mishra, fresh from entering into alliance in Uttar Pradesh, were all smiles sitting next to each other. The Aam Admi Party and the Congress, which have never lost an opportunity to attack each other in Delhi politics, joined Mamata Banerjee's rally at Brigade ground. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Abhishek Manu Singhvi were present on one platform. Kharge, who participated in the opposition parties rally as the emissary of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, said "till we (opposition parties) unite, we will have to continue seeing Modi and Shah trample democracy and secular values of the country." "Even if the hearts don't meet, the hands should meet," he said. But, beyond display of optics, a tie up between the AAP and Congress in Delhi for upcoming election seems difficult. The AAP on Friday said it will not go for an alliance with the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, accusing the Grand Old Party of being "arrogant", and added that it will field candidates on all the parliamentary constituencies of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. In Uttar Pradesh, traditional rivals SP and BSP have joined hands, ignoring the Congress. Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati's representative Satish Mishra missed no opportunity to show a united picture. All the leaders, in their speeches, hailed the coming together of SP and BSP in the country's most populous state which sends 80 MPs to Lok Sabha. The SP, BSP and AAP stressed on putting up a fight to oust the Modi government but remained mum on keeping the Congress out of their scheme of things in their respective states. Ajit Singh and Jayant Choudhary of Rashtriya Lok Dal, another player in western Uttar Pradesh, were also present in the rally. While the presence at the rally of all major parties with significant stake in UP assumes significance, their leaders sought to downplay it saying it was rather a congregation of all opposition parties, irrespective of states. "This is an anti-BJP rally. So many opposition parties are taking part in it and we are also part of it. It has nothing to do with Uttar Pradesh politics as that is a completely different turf," Samajwadi Party vice president Kiranmoy Nanda had said Friday. Kharge was sitting beside NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah. PTI PNT SNS RT

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