Kolkata: Launching a scathing attack on the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, DMK president M K Stalin on Saturday called for opposition unity “to defeat Modi and save the country” through the upcoming general elections, which he said must be viewed as the second freedom struggle for the people of India to fight against the “radical Hinduism” propounded by the BJP.
Stalin, speaking at the huge opposition rally organised by the Trinamool Congress Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Brigade Parade Grounds here, said the Prime Minister "is afraid" of a few people, including Mamata Banerjee. "Narendra Modi is scared of a few people. Mamata Banerjee is one of them. That is why Modi and Amit Shah are scared to come to West Bengal”, he said.
Stalin said Tamil Nadu and West Bengal were forerunners in the first freedom struggle of India. “And this is India’s second freedom struggle; I am here at the invitation of Bengal’s sister, Iron Lady and simple human being Mamata Banerjee.”
PM Modi, according to the DMK chief, is also scared of the consolidation of opposition unity. “This unity scares Narendra Modi”, he said pointing to the host of leaders present on the dais. “I see entire India on this stage; people from other states, languages and parties are here, yet our thoughts and aim are the same-we must defeat the BJP and send Narendra Modi back home”, Stalin thundered.
He accused PM Modi of turning the Central government into a “private limited company” soaked in high corruption and working for corporate houses. “If Modi is back in power, the country will go back 50 years,” he said.
“We all have been talking of Rafale for the past six months; have been asking why the deal was given to a private company and not a government company. If this is not corruption what is?” he asked, pointing to the absconding businessmen Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and the demonetisation ‘fiasco’ to highlight the alleged corruption in the Centre.
Barring the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the CPI (M)-led Left Front, leaders of all the opposition parties attended the TMC rally. They included Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Karnataka CM and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy, Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, NCP’s Sharad Pawar and Samajwadi party president Akhilesh Yadav. The Congress party was represented by Mallikarjun Kharge and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, while former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda, National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, Tejashwi Yadav of RJD were also present. Activist Hardik Patel and Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani also addressed the massive turnout....