Lalu Yadav’s Patna rally, aimed to displaying opposition unity and which is targetted at Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and PM Narendra Modi government, is in big trouble. After reports of BSP supremo Mayawati skipping the rally, now, NDTV reports that Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and her deputy, Rahul Gandhi, are also unlikely to attend it leaving the attempt at grouping of opposition leaders in shambles. NDTV reports that Rahul and Sonia may prefer to skip the rally hosted by Lalu Yadav family, due to the corruption charges they face.
Earlier, in a big setback, Mayawati has decided to skip the rally to avert sharing stage with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, her arch rival in the home state of Uttar Pradesh, ABP news had reported. Skipping of the rally by Congress will be a big setback as the party remains the oldest, and despite its recent marginalisation, the largest opposition party in India. On the other hand, Mayawati, despite recent decimation in recent Uttar Pradesh polls serves as a big Dalit face, and may well provide a booster to Opposition’s Dalit outreach.
Earlier, Akhilesh Yadav had said that he would attend Yadav’s rally in Patna on August 27 and added that Mayawati would also be present there. Mayawati’s decision to skip the rally was seen as a big setback to the speculation that said arch-rivals SP and BSP may shed hostility and inch closer in view of the BJP’s spectacular rise in Uttar Pradesh.
“I will be present at Lalu Prasad Ji’s Bihar rally on Aug 27 and Mayawati will also be there. If there is any announcement (regarding future alliance) it will be made there”, Akhilesh was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India. Congress, SP, BSP leaders were invited by the RJD chief to his party’s mega rally in Patna.
The talks of a ‘joint opposition’ picked up pace soon after JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar cut off his party’s ties with the RJD and the Congress. Kumar resigned from his post of chief minister, only to sworn-in again the next day with support from BJP.