Pitching for larger Opposition unity, six constituents of the erstwhile Janata Parivar on Monday shared dais at a “Mahadharna” slamming BJP’s “divisive” politics and accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “telling lies” and “not fulfilling” poll promises on black money.
Leaders of the splinter groups including SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar called for “sinking old prejudices” and promised to “script a new story” in the Indian politics by ousting BJP.
Tariq Anwar and D P Tripathi from the NCP also shared the dais while Mamata Banerjee sent a letter of support to the leaders through Derek ‘O’ Brien, who however did not turn up at the venue.
The agitation programme, which saw the attendance of former Prime Minister H D Devegowda of JD (S), Dushyant Chautala of Indian National Lok Dal and SJP’s Kamal Morarka is being dubbed as the “first solid step” towards the merger of the parties.
The leaders recalled that the Janata Parivar had formed three governments in alliance in the past and reminded Modi dispensation that they have got “only 31 percent of votes” and will have to “go back” if they did not fulfil the promises.
“From our identities as separate parties, we have to merge in a single party. An agreement has been reached on this. Mulayam Singh has to work out the modalities. Let us take a vow now.
“…We should contact even others. Let us make a comprehensive Opposition. We should all come together. Setting aside our prejudices, we want to form a strong Opposition,” Kumar said.
Attacking the government on several issues, Lalu Prasad said, “an attempt is being made to persistently target Mamata Banerjee”.
He said that while people talk about the differences between him and Nitish Kumar, “we have come together now”.
Playing audio clips of previous speeches of Modi, the then BJP President Rajnath Singh and Baba Ramdev about bringing back black money, Kumar, Prasad, Sharad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav asked “what happened to the promise that Rs 15 lakh will reach the pockets of the poor once black money is brought back.”
“You should ask every BJP leader whether they will give you the money in cash or cheque. It is most unfortunate that the Prime Minister of the country is telling lies,” Kumar said.
He asked Modi to “fulfil the promises that you had made. Otherwise, you will have to vacate the chair and go back.”
At the agitation programme, leaders tried to reach out to the youth reminding them that the promised employment to them
is yet to happen.
Nitish Kumar said that the youth feel “most cheated” today.
Mulayam Singh Yadav while crediting the youth for bringing Samajwadi Party rule in Uttar Pradesh urged them to come together to change the NDA dispensation at the Centre.
Kumar accused Modi of “forgetting all promises” that he made during the Lok Sabha polls including about bringing back black money, giving 50 per cent more crop price to farmers than their production cost and giving employment to youth.
“Today if somebody is feeling the most cheated it is the youth. When bank accounts of people under Jandhan Yojana were opened there was much publicity. Now it has come to fore that there is no money transaction in 5 crore of the total 8 crore accounts under the scheme and there will be no accident benefit.
“Even if you did not give Rs 15 lakh each, you could have at least deposited Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 in their accounts so that they would have availed this benefit,” Kumar said taking a jibe at Modi as he sought to contrast the statements made by the Prime Minister before the Lok Sabha polls and after the BJP came to power at the Centre.
JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, a prime mover behind the unity moves, attacked the NDA government for “drifting” from its poll plank of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas.