NEW DELHI: Leaders of around 17 opposition parties shared dais, praised each other and vowed to fight against the BJP government in a show of their unity at "Save the Democracy" protest at Jantar Mantar in the national capital. The joint protest happened hours after MPs from Congress, Trinamool Congress and CPI(M) heckled each other in the Lok Sabha Wednesday.
While the opposition leaders presented a united face at Jantar Mantar, TMC MPs heckled CPI (M) Mohd Salim for attacking West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, as the government brought the banning of unregulated deposit schemes bill. Congress MPs also raised slogans against the CM over the Saradha chit fund case.
An angry Mamata Banerjee took up the matter with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in the Parliament and said she would never forget her insult by Congress MPs. Sonia was seen pacifying her.
The "Save The Democracy" protest against the BJP government convened by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in national capital saw Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, NCP chief Sharad Yadav, Congress leader Anand Sharma, Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav, National Conference Farooq Abdullah, DMK's Kanimozhi and others in presence.
The opposition leaders attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for destroying all constitutional institutions and damaging the federal structure. Interestingly, Yechury and CPI MP D Raja left the dais even before their arch rival Mamata Banerjee came to the venue. BSP continued to give the opposition grouping a miss and the party has kept away from all opposition meetings in the past.
Mamata Banerjee attacked PM and alleged that he along with BJP president Amit Shah has been threatening people, bureaucrats, politicians and media.
The West Bengal CM said that to remove the BJP government at the centre she would fight with the Congress and the Left at the national level. "The situation in the country is worse than the emergency and we (opposition parties) will fight together against the BJP government. In states, the strongest party should take on the BJP in a one-to-one-fight," she said.
Echoing similar views, Naidu said that this is the time when opposition parties together can replace the BJP government in the centre.
Later in the evening, Congress president Rahul Gandhi joined the Opposition huddle at NCP chief Sharad Pawar's residence.