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aaps yellow to lefts red mosaic of politics plays out at ramlila maidan
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AAP’s yellow to Left’s red: Mosaic of politics plays out at Ramlila Maidan

The iconic AAP hats, a sea of yellow Pagdis and scarfs, the Congress’s Tricolour flags, and the CPI(M)’s red flags — Sunday’s Opposition rally at Ramlila Maidan was a colourful mosaic of supporters from across party lines. Outside the venue were life-size cutouts of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. With thousands in attendance, giant LED screens were installed so everyone could get a glimpse of the event. A Punjabi song, calling the BJP and the Enforcement Directorate “cheaters for arresting Kejriwal”, also played intermittently. Rushing to get a front-row seat to get a glimpse of Rahul Gandhi, Ballu, a vegetable vendor from Sadar Bazar, said, “I heard about this protest at the market. Although I am a Congress supporter, I like Kejriwal because he has given a lot to poor people like us — be it free electricity or education to my children.” Satyadev Mishra, who came from Rohini, spoke out against Kejriwal’s arrest. “Why did they arrest him? Because he was giving us free electricity? water?. We are common people but we know why he has been arrested and targeted — it’s because elections are around the corner.” Asked if he knew the motive behind the rally, Mishra added, “I don’t know exactly why. if all these leaders have come together, then it must be for the good of the people.” Wearing a Kejriwal mask, 18-year-old Pankaj from Lodhi Road skipped cricket practice to attend the rally with his friends. “In school, I used to participate in debate. Political Science was my favourite subject. Seeing how things are playing out on the ground now, it seems like if you speak out against anyone in power, you will be put behind bars. I am going to college soon and I want to raise my voice against wrongdoings and not be scared.,” he said. Apart from people from Delhi and NCR, several came from Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. Rakesh Kumar, who came from Haridwar, said, “We are here to save democracy, to save India. Kejriwal is an honest and innocent man. Why aren’t the CBI and ED taking any action against BJP members? Is the BJP free of corruption?.” Kamla, from the Lohar community in Haryana, arrived with at least 50 others from her village. “We want the BJP government to go. that is why we are here today to support these parties. Saalon ho gaye, humare baap dada mar gaye, par aaj bhi hum ek chhat ke, ghar ke liye, lad rahe hain.There is no development in my village. The BJP government made promises of houses and education. our demands have not been met yet.” Anjali Singh, a lawyer at Tis Hazari court, alleged that BJP was a washing machine that cleans up any corruption allegations: “If Kejriwal joins BJP, all corruption charges against him will be dropped immediately.” Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, an ex-Armyman from the Bihar regiment, said, “Manish ji and Arvind ji are behind bars for their reforms. Manish Sisodia’s initiatives like Schools of Excellence have brought real reform in the education sector. Thanks to this, kids nowadays are setting up business empires.” Amber Habib, a mathematics professor and author, said, “We are not here for a particular party, but for democracy, for the citizens. Laws are being amended in a way that action can be taken against anyone without any evidence. Not just the opposition, even a common citizen can’t express their opinion openly.” Meanwhile, Zola, a 67-year-old farmer from Sangrur, spoke about a time, during the Congress rule, when diesel and petrol used to be much more affordable. “. everything has become expensive ever since the BJP came to power. we are not receiving any central government schemes in our village. small farmers and the poor are suffering due to this,” he said.

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