High hopes of opposition unity in grand rally organised by Lalu Yadav may quiver

Rashtriya Janta Dal party supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav has openly declared war against the BJP-led NDA government. He has organised a grand rally on 27 Aug to showcase unity of the opposition BJP and almost all the opposition parties are likely to attend the party.

Lalu decided to rage a war against BJP after the recent CBI raids conducted at the premises of Lalu and his family members. He along with his wife Rabri Devi and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav was accused of being involved in a number of scams. Following the allegations, BJP had demanded the resignation of Tejashwi, but Lalu ruled out any possibility of his son’s resignation. Lalu even accused the Narendra Modi led government of deliberately targeting him by conducting raids at his premises and diverting the minds of the people from the failure of his government. All this commotion and allegations ultimately resulted in the breakup of the grand alliance between RJDJD(U)-Congress, with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar forming a new government in the state in alliance with BJP and now a partner of NDA.

Lalu Prasad Yadav full of anger and a feeling of revenge has called for a mega rally on 27 Aug with the slogan of ‘BJP hatao desh bachao’. While the rally is expected to showcase Opposition unity, but the presence of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and some other senior leaders who are facing corruption charges may turn otherwise for the RJD leader. Looking at the situation The Left Parties are not very much interested in sharing the stage with leaders accused of corruption charges. “Our party has been relentlessly fighting against corruption in Bengal. Mamata Banerjee and her party are accused of so many scams, ranging from Saradha chit fund scam to Narada bribery allegations. So, if Banerjee attends the rally, how can we share the stage with her – it would be morally and ethically incorrect,” said a senior CPM leader.

CPI’s national secretary D Raja said that they did not receive an invitation, though Yadav had requested them to join the rally. “We have shown our unity with the Opposition in the meeting convened by Sharad ji. We have no objection to Lalu ji’s rally, but we have not taken a final decision on joining it,” said Raja.

Other than the left Parties almost all the opposition has extended their support to Lalu and has assured their presence. According to an RJD member, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is likely to attend the event and address the rally. Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party has offered full support to Yadav. Former CM of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav has agreed to participate in the rally and will be one of the speakers. In his statement to ET Kiranmoy Nanda, SP’s national vice president said that “I have been sent by Akhilesh to make all the necessary arrangements to make the rally successful, and I have been travelling to districts and organizing our cadres. We will ensure that the venue is full on August 27.”

This mega rally is being considered as the power bank to further strengthen the opposition unity before the Lok Sabha polls due in 2019. But the opposition is receiving majors jolts one after the other. The first setback for the opposition was when the possible opposition Prime ministerial candidate which they could have fielded against Narendra Modi ditched them and joined hands with BJP-led NDA. The second drawback may be wherein Uttar Pradesh Samajwadi Party’s family feud still continues even after the election. BSP supremo Mayawati on Monday disclosed that she will not be attending the mega rally on 27 Aug. In such critical situation where the opposition is trying hard to forge a unity against BJP, the rejection of invitation by Mayawati may weaken the oppositions motto against BJP.

The fact that Lalu had offered her a seat in the upper house with RJD quota when Mayawati had recently resigned as the member of Rajya Sabha and still the supremo rejecting to attend the rally may raise quite a few question marks in regard to what next turmoil the opposition may face. Will it be a united opposition with consensus goal to defeat the BJP-led NDA or will it be an opposition solving clashes within the party?