The BJP leaders and workers, including the Darjeeling MP Raju Bista today joined the ceremony in Siliguri.
The heads of all three parties of the opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh – Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav and Chaudhary Ajit Singh – came together for the first time on the stage for a historic rally in Deoband on Sunday, seeking votes for each other’s candidates in order to oust the BJP.
In her address BSP chief Mayawati asked the people not to pay any attention to “sharab” remark made by PM Modi in his Meerut rally referring to the SP-RLD-BSP combine.
“PM Modi will be frightened after getting feedback of such a massive turnout of people here,” Mayawati said expressing confidence that the BJP will be out of power “unless something happens with the EVMs”.
“Congress remained out of power due to its wrong policies and BJP will be out of power because of their wrong doings and wrong policies,” she said adding that “Chowkidari” and “Jumlebaji” will not help them.
Attacking the PM, the BSP supremo said that he has failed to fulfil even one-fourth of the promises and is misleading people.
“They have spent thousands of crores on publicity which otherwise could have been spent on the welfare of the people,” she quipped and accused BJP of patronising capitalists.
Criticising the BJP for its recent announcements and inaugurations, Mayawati lamented, “If they were serious could have completed projects much before declaration of election.”
Mayawati also raised the issues of misuse of CBI, pending sugarcane dues, exploitation of Dalits and tribals, and unemployment while promising permanent employment to youths if they come to power.
Referring to the upper caste reservation announced by Modi government, the BSP chief claimed that it will not do much for them. She also averred that our borders are not secure under BJP rule. She appealed the gathering not to allow the BJP to come to power as they would do anything to get their votes and distract them.
Also taking on the Congress, Mayawati warned the people against falling in the trap of their manifesto saying that they will put it aside after the election is over. She added that the Congress promise of Rs 6,000 is not a definite plan to remove poverty. BSP however don’t issue manifesto as it “believes in work, not in hollow promises”.
Mayawati criticised Indira Gandhi’s 20-point programme to eradicate poverty and BJP’s promise of Rs 15 lakh. She said that BJP’s sabka saath, sabka vikas slogan turned out to be a jumla.
Appealing to Muslims to vote for the alliance, the BSP supremo asked them not to allow their vote to be divided.
“Modi ke saath Yogi ko bhi bhagana hai,” she said appealing the masses to ensure that no vote is missed on the day of polling.
Also making an appeal to vote for the candidates of alliance from Bijnor (Malok Nagar of BSP), Saharanpur (Fazlurreham of BSP), Kairana (Tabassum Hasan of SP), Muzzaffarnagar (Ajit Singh of RLD) and Baghpat (Jayant Chaudhary of RLD), who were all present on the dais, Mayawati asked the gathering to ensure the victory of alliance.
Starting his address to the cheering crowd of supporters, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav claimed that this election is going to create a history. He said that Saharanpur reminds him of the existence of Maa Shakumbhari Peeth and Darul Uloom, which is in Deoband.
Attacking Modi he said that leaders came here to spread hate and they don’t want to speak about promises.
“He came as Chaiwala and we all believed in their lies of Rs.15 lakh and now they are here as Chowkidar,” Yadav said.
“This election will decide future of this country and this is an alliance to make a new PM,” said Akhilesh asserting that this alliance will keep the heritage of Chaudhary Charan Singh alive and will fulfil the dreams of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar and Ram Manohar Lohia who had “dreamt of such an alliance”.
Like Mayawati, Akhilesh, too, raised the issues of pending sugarcane, unemployment and also sluggish pace of development of the country.
“This government has brought bad days instead of Acche Din (good days). GST has destroyed businesses of small traders,” he said blaming the BJP of dividing people more than the British.
“This election is to bring change, increase harmony and remove hatred,” said the SP leader claiming that his party abolished hatred in Kairana as not even a single vote was divided there during the by-poll.
Attacking the BJP and Congress, Yadav said that they are alike as their policies are same.
In his address Ajit Singh also attacked the BJP and said to the people that their volume and enthusiasm has assured the defeat of BJP.
He cleared that they want happiness for farmer, jobs to youths and a good life for everyone.
“This election is to save the nation,” said Singh, adding that for the first time four judges of Supreme Court were forced to say that democracy is in danger.
Calling Mayawati as the leader of country, Singh said that the sugarcane rates were increased during Mayawati and Mulayam governments and stern action was being taken against defaulters but now High Court directions for payment are being overlooked.
“Agriculture is no more profitable for farmers under BJP rule,” he asserted.
“Bullets and lathis were used on farmers when they marched to Delhi,” Singh claimed calling unemployment highest in Modi rule.
At the rally, supporters of the BSP-SP-RLD alliance were seen waving party flags together. The environment was festive and supporters were seen dancing their way to the venue on beats of Dhol for about three kilometres, raising slogans with full enthusiasm.
The crowd rented the air with cries of ‘Gathbandhan Zindabad’ and other slogans.
Interestingly supporters of Bhim Army also turned up with posters of their chief Chandrasekhar Azad at the rally to express their support to the alliance, though it is not part of it.
Mayawati, Akhikesh and Ajit Singh, along with Singh’s son Jayant Chaudhary, were gifted replicas of an elephant, a cycle and a hand-pump – their respective party symbols – before the start of the rally.