INDIA Bloc Presses 5 Demands To Election Commission At Mega Rally In Delhi

Leaders from major Opposition parties in India gathered at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan for a rally demanding the release of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and ex-Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren. They accused the BJP of undermining democracy and called for fair elections.

Photo: PTI/Shahbaz Khan
INDIA bloc Loktantra Bachao Rally in Delhi Photo: PTI/Shahbaz Khan

Leaders from various opposition parties gathered on Sunday at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan for what was dubbed as the 'Loktantra Bachao Rally' (Save Democracy Rally). The rally, organised by the INDIA bloc, saw a massive turnout as leaders voiced concerns over the state of democracy in the country and demanded the release of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren.

Kejriwal's wife, Sunita Kejriwal and Hemant Soren's wife, Kalpana Soren, were also present at the rally.

During the rally, opposition leaders accused the ruling BJP of using central investigative agencies to suppress dissenting voices and weaken the opposition. Congress's Priyanka Gandhi Vadra presented five demands to the Election Commission, emphasising the need for a level playing field ahead of elections. She called for an immediate halt to actions by agencies like the Enforcement Directorate, CBI, and Income Tax Department against opposition parties.

The alliance also demanded a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team to probe alleged financial irregularities through the electoral bonds scheme, which they termed "extortion" by the BJP.

Congress's Rahul Gandhi warned against the consequences of allowing the BJP to manipulate elections and alter the Constitution, while AAP's Bhagwant Mann asserted that the ideology represented by Arvind Kejriwal couldn't be suppressed through arrests.

"You can arrest Arvind Kejriwal, but how will you arrest his ideology? In which jail will you send the lakhs of Kejriwals that are born in India?" he said.

The event also served to bridge gaps within the opposition, notably after recent disagreements, such as Mamata Banerjee's decision to contest elections in West Bengal independently. Despite earlier statements, a Trinamool Congress MP reaffirmed the party's allegiance to the INDIA alliance, labelling the struggle as one between the BJP and democracy.

The timing of the rally coincided with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's launch of the BJP campaign in Uttar Pradesh. However, opposition leaders like Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party remained undeterred, criticising the BJP's actions.

Yadav stated, "These people are giving the slogan of '400 Paar'. If you are going to win more than 400 seats, then why are you scared of the AAP leader"

Responding to the opposition's accusations, a BJP spokesperson dismissed the rally as an attempt to divert attention from alleged corruption within the opposition ranks.