Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati have decided to not attend Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) ‘BJP bhagao, desh bachao’ rally which is to be held in Gandhi Maidan of Patna later this week. Lalu Prasad, while speaking to reporters confirmed that the heads of the two parties will give the rally a skip, but added that both leaders will send a senior party functionary to the event. Lalu said ”I spoke to Sonia Gandhi and Mayawati, both of them will not attend the event, but Congress will be represented by Ghulam Nabi Azad and All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and Bihar affairs in-charge CP Joshi. The BSP will be represented by the party’s general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra,” according to the Times of India.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) Chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Janata Dal (United)’s (JDU) rebel MP and former party president Sharad Yadav have confirmed that they will attend the rally organised by Lalu Prasad on August 27. Sharad Yadav is expected to attend the rally with his supporters. The rally is seen as an attempt by Lalu to form a larger alliance of parties which are opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha election, as per the report.
Lalu Prasad Yadav has rejected Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi’s request to postpone the rally in-light of the severe flood situation faced by the state of Bihar. Lalu quashed the appeal by saying, ”Sushil Modi shouldn’t try to teach me. Will the floods in the state end if I postpone the rally?” The RJD supremo, in fact, trained his guns at the Bihar Deputy CM and asked him to explain how did the embankments along the river get breached as the state government spent close to Rs 600 crore in the maintenance of these embankments, according to the report.