A Mumbai rally which was organized by some activists has turned into a staging ground of sorts for the opposition parties. This rally is to use as a springboard for a multi-pronged offensive against the Modi government, in what is also being seen as a hint at developing a pan-India opposition unity ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
Powerful Opposition leaders Sharad Pawar, Sharad Yadav, D Raja, Hardik Patel, Omar Abdullah, Dinesh Trivedi and Sushilkumar Shinde met in Mumbai today ahead of “Save the Constitution” march. Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar had also announced that he would be joining the march and had invited other parties as well. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan and Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam will also take part in the march. Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, is expected to attend.
The meeting took place at home of leader of opposition in Maharashtra assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil. NCP leaders Praful Patel and DP Tripathi and former parliamentarian Ram Jethmalani were also present, news agency PTI reported. Former union minister Dinesh Trivedi was Mamata Banerjee’s pick from the Trinamool Congress for the Mumbai meeting. The “Save the Constitution” march is being seen as an attempt to consolidate anti-BJP forces ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Independent parliamentarian from Maharashtra Raju Shetti, the convener of “Save the Constitution” march, who was also present at the meeting, said participants will gather at Dr BR Ambedkars statue near Mumbai university and walk to Shivaji Maharaj’s statue at the Gateway of India. “This will be a silent morcha (march). After reaching the Gateway (of India), people will stage a sit-in for some time. There will be no speeches,” he said.