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INDIA bloc leaders huddle at Ramlila Maidan in protest against Kejriwal's arrest

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21. He is in custody till April 1
02:28 PM Mar 31, 2024 IST | ANI
india bloc leaders huddle at ramlila maidan in protest against kejriwal s arrest
INDIA bloc leaders huddle at Ramlila Maidan in protest against Kejriwal's arrest --- Photo: ScreenGrab
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New Delhi, Mar 31: Opposition leaders kept pouring in at the INDIA bloc rally held at the capital's Ramlila Maidan on Sunday to protest against the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi liquor policy case.

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Speaking at the Maha Rally, Aam Aadmi Party Minister Gopal Rai said that it is difficult to understand the need to arrest a sitting Chief Minister.

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"Protests have erupted in the whole country after March 21. No one is able to understand why a sitting Chief Minister has been arrested. But it is not just Arvind Kejriwal. Before arresting the Delhi Chief Minister, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren was arrested as well. With the misuse of the ED and CBI, democracy is under attack...," Gopal Rai said at the rally on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters about the INDIA bloc's rally at Ramlila Maidan, Congress leader Supriya Shrinate said, "Democracy is being attacked. The whole country is standing in the favour of democracy. And we have come here to give the same message."

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DMK MP Tiruchi N Siva said that Chief Minister MK Stalin could not make it to the rally owing to the elections in the state which is going to polls in the first phase on April 19.

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"...The INDIA bloc is holding a big rally today. As far as Tamil Nadu is concerned it is facing the parliament elections in the first phase, which is on April 19. So our leader and Chief Minister MK Stalin who was about to participate in this rally is not in a position to attend it. So he has delegated me to attend the rally...," he said.

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Congress MP Deepender Hooda who was also at the Maha Rally said, "This battle is to safeguard the nation, democracy, constitution, future of the nation, youth, farmers and women. This battle is for justice and truth. We believe the whole country will support the INDIA bloc in this battle. Everyone will unite to fight this battle."

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Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, National Conference Chief Farooq Abdullah, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and other INDIA bloc leaders were present at the rally in Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.

The grand rally was also graced by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party (SCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's wife Sunita Kejriwal and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren's wife Kalpana Soren.

"...We are doing this to save the democracy of our country. The INDIA Alliance parties are gathering here and through this, we want to tell the people of the nation and those who have gathered here today that you have to come forward to fight for your democracy...," Kalpana Soren said speaking to reporters.

Meanwhile, Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren arrived in Delhi to attend the Maha Rally.

"This Maha Rally of the grand alliance is for saving the democracy and letting people know how the central government is promoting dictatorship," he said.

Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Akhilesh Yadav said, "The BJP is being criticised all over the world after Arvind Kejriwal's arrest... The Opposition and the ones who speak the truth are being attacked, the BJP is being criticised..."

Congress General Secretary KC Vengopal accused the central government of refusing to provide a level playing field to opposition political parties ahead of the elections.

"Now the Government of India under the leadership of PM Modi is completely refusing to provide a level playing field to political parties, especially the opposition parties. How can you ensure free and fair elections in this environment? They want to hijack the entire election process, which is why they are targeting only opposition parties and leaders. This is the biggest rally that we are organising against BJP...," Venugopal said.

In reaction to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's, "Can't trust Congress" remark, the senior Congress leader said, "The issue now is that there is no level playing field for political parties in India, especially opposition parties. The government is misusing the agencies. ED is now working like BJP goons, we are opposing it..."

Congress MP Pramod Tiwari said that the opposition and the people have come together at the Ramlila Maidan.

"The Opposition and the people have come together here. Now, it is BJP versus India. There should be a change and the dictator government should go now...," Tiwari said.

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21. He is in custody till April 1.

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