KOLKATA: West Bengal CM & TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee arrives at 'United India' opposition rally. National politicians from across the political spectra converged on Friday to attend the mega rally.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi shot off a letter to the West Bengal Chief Minister praising her efforts to build an anti-BJP Federal Front.
"The entire opposition is united in our belief that true nationalism and development can only be defended on the tested pillars of democracy, social justice and secularism, ideas that the BJP and Mr. Modi are intent on destroying," he wrote.
"We commend the great people of Bengal who have historically been at the forefront of defending our ideals. I extend my support to Mamata Di on this show of unity and hope that we send a powerful message of a united India together," he added.
Though the Congress president would not be present, the grand old party will be represented by Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
On the other hand, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Yadav heaped praises on Mamata Banerjee for making this Federal Front rally a reality.
Reacting to the rally, actor-turned-rebel BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha said that Mamata Banerjee was the perfect Prime Ministerial candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Other BJP rebels and former union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie will also share the stage on Saturday.
The streets of Kolkata from Airport towards the rally grounds have been adorned with posters of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M K Stalin.
Bahujan Samaj Party senior leader Satish Chandra Mishra, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh and Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Tejashwi Yadav are also expected to reach the city by late Friday evening.
While inspecting the security arrangements in the venue, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee predicted that BJP will win only 125 seats in the forthcoming elections, a drop of 25 seats from the 150 seats she had predicted for BJP during the July 21 TMC Martyrs' Day rally.
Meanwhile, TMC workers from across the state started arriving in the city to attend the rally. Food and stay for the TMC workers have been arranged at multiple venues including stadiums and government buildings.
"Eyes of 130 crore people would be on Brigade tomorrow. What started with Karnataka the final nail in the coffin would be hit tomorrow," TMC apparent heir and Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee said.
While the TMC supremo invited Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of CPM but did not receive any confirmation, no one from the state Congress have been invited for the mega rally.
"We were not invited how can we attend the rall Anyways it's a rallying of support for Mamata's PM dreams," state Congress president Somen Mitra said.
Reacting to his statement, junior Banerjee said: "What can be more laughable than the Bengal Congress giving contradictory statements than the High Command."
(With inuts from ENS)