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INDIA bloc leaders slam Centre in Ranchi’s ‘show of strength’ rally over Kejriwal, Soren’s arrest

Ranchi, April 21 : In a ‘show of strength and unity’, the INDIA bloc on Sunday organised the ‘Ulgulan Nyay Rally’ here with top leaders of the alliance terming the Lok Sabha polls as a battle to save the Constitution and Democracy, and unseat the BJP-led government at Centre from power.

In the rally held here at Prabhat Tara Maidan, two empty chairs were placed on the stage in a symbolic gesture — hinting towards the absence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren. While the Delhi CM was arrested in connection with the liquor policy scam, Soren was held in a land grab matter.

The INDIA bloc leaders, slamming the arrest of both leaders, termed the development as a conspiracy, stating the response has to be given through votes.

Speaking at the rally, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said: “Hemant Soren is not going to lose courage. He is not scared of jail. We won’t be finished if two CMs are imprisoned. We can’t be pressurised, and we shall keep growing and moving forward.”

Criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Kharge said it has made a woman hailing from the tribal community the country’s President for the sake of votes.

The Congress president said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “only spoken lies” about providing jobs, bringing back the black money, increasing farmers’ income, among other assurances.

He also claimed that the BJP would not get more than 150 Lok Sabha seats in the 2024 Parliamentary elections.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren, addressing the rally, said: “Our leader Hemant Soren was working for the rights of tribals, underprivileged and minorities but he has been sent to jail. However, all those initiatives would continue.”

Posters of Kejriwal and Soren were also put up at the rally in which both were pictorially depicted as being behind bars.

Hemant Soren’s wife, Kalpana, who was also present at the rally, read out a message that her husband sent from the jail.

She said: “My husband has been in jail over absolutely baseless allegations for the last two and a half months. For the first time since Independence, chief ministers of opposition parties have been jailed by the Centre right before the elections.

“But we are not scared of jail. When we demanded our rights from the Centre we have been subjected to such a behaviour! Rights of tribals are being attacked. An attempt is being made to dupe the country’s citizens. The Opposition’s voice is being stifled through Central agencies,” Kalpana Soren said.

Meanwhile, at the rally, Sunita Kejriwal alleged that a conspiracy was being hatched to kill her husband in the prison.

She said even as Kejriwal is a diabetic, he was being prevented from taking insulin.

“What’s shameful is even the cameras in jail are keeping an eye on what my husband is consuming! What wrong did my husband and Mr. Hemant Soren commit?” she questioned, while raising a slogan “Jail ka taala tootega, Arvind Kejriwal chhutega, Hemant Soren chhutega” which translates to “the prison locks would break, and Arvind Kejriwal and Hemant Soren would be released”.

Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav who was also present at the rally said the Central government had done injustice to Kejriwal and Soren.

“People will give a reply to this injustice through every single vote,” he said.

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and former Deputy Bihar Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav said: “The Central government thinks we are scared of jail. They don’t know that we are followers of Lord Krishna whose birth took place in a prison cell.”

National Conference leader and former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah said the Constitution framed by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar faces a danger today.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Priyanka Chaturvedi of SS-UBT, among others were also present at the public meeting that was presided over by Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Shibu Soren.

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