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RSS-BJP like poison, oppn must unite against them: Mallikarjun Kharge ar Ramlila Maidan

NEW DELHI, Mar 31 : Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday described the RSS-BJP combine as a “poison” that has “destroyed” the country, and called on all opposition parties to unite to defeat the ruling party in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. This election is to save democracy, the country, and the Constitution, he said at the ‘Loktantra Bachao’ rally of the opposition INDIA bloc at Ramlila Maidan here. The opposition held the rally to highlight the “threat to democracy,” which, according to it, has become more palpable with the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren. Wives of both Kejriwal and Soren were present at the rally and even made speeches it, giving rise to speculations over their future roles in politics. “We need to unite. Only then will we be able to fight the BJP. We won’t succeed if we keep attacking and fighting each other,” Kharge said, urging the alliance partners to let go of their differences. The Congress president said that the 2024 general election will decide the future of the country on whether democracy will survive or “dictatorship” will thrive under Modi. “PM Modi believes in dictatorship and not in democracy,” he remarked. Accusing the BJP government of denying a level playing field to the opposition parties, Kharge pointed out how all bank accounts of the Congress party had been frozen just ahead of the polls and how the opposition leaders were intimidated and two chief ministers arrested. “There is no level-playing field in this election. PM Modi has dug up the ground and is asking the opposition to play cricket there,” he said. Kharge said that at a recent meeting in Rashtrapati Bhavan he told BJP chief J P Nadda that there was no level playing field as the Congress’s funds had already been “stolen” away. “The BJP and the RSS are like poison, don’t taste it. They have destroyed the country and they should not be allowed to destroy it further,” the Congress chief said. He accused the prime minister of misusing institutions to threaten the opposition parties, and toppling their governments. “If there is a Constitution, fundamental rights remain. If there is a Constitution, only then reservation can be given to the Dalits, tribals, backward classes and poor classes. If there is a Constitution, democracy will survive. India will unite, INDIA will win. “Will fight till our last breath to save democracy and the Constitution,” Kharge said. The politician accused the Centre of putting Soren behind bars when he refused to join the BJP and of attempting coups in Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh, where the opposition is in power. Twelve bank accounts of the Congress were frozen and the party was sent notices with penalty of Rs 135 crore on cash deposits of Rs 14 lakh, he said. At the same time, he alleged, no action was taken against BJP receiving a deposit of Rs 42 crore, which must merit a penalty of Rs 4,600 crore, according to the same rules. He also claimed that Kejriwal was arrested to suppress the “scam” in the electoral bond scheme. “What can we call this if not robbery? The scheme which BJP brings in the name of transparency turns out to be a scam. Even Electoral Bond and PM CARES were scams. The CAG exposed huge scams in many departments of the Modi government. But no one was caught, no investigation was done,” Kharge alleged. “ED, IT, CBI remained silent for years. They have become allies of the NDA in the Legislative Assembly or Lok Sabha elections … They play the most important role in toppling opposition governments. The files of criminals of the ruling party and those who join BJP from other parties are closed,” he added. The Congress president said his party, which fought the British, will not be intimidated or “arm twisted.” In his speech, Kharge also paid his tributes to former prime ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi for “defending and safeguarding the unity and integrity of the country.” (PTI)

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