INDIA bloc rally: Rahul Gandhi alleges BJP's 'match-fixing' tactics ahead of LS polls

New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during INDIA bloc's mega event 'Loktantra Bachao' (save democracy) rally at Ramlila Maidan in the national capital, accusing them of orchestrating a game of "match-fixing" as the country gears up for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

"The BJP is resorting to match-fixing tactics reminiscent of cricket, where umpires are chosen, players are bought, and captains are threatened. They have chosen their umpires in the form of Prime Minister Modi, and the recent arrests of prominent opposition figures like ex-Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal are clear manifestations of this orchestrated strategy,” said Gandhi, while addressing the gathering.

Drawing parallels with cricket's match-fixing scandals, Gandhi said: "IPL matches are underway today. When umpires succumb to pressure, players are manipulated, and captains are coerced to ensure victory, it is labelled as match-fixing. Similarly, as we approach the Lok Sabha polls, BJP is rigging the game in their favour.”

The Congress leader also highlighted the challenges faced by the opposition and said: "Without the misuse of EVMs, orchestrated match-fixing, manipulation of social media, and pressurising the press, BJP cannot hope to secure more than 180 seats."

The leaders representing the INDIA bloc, who are longstanding rivals of the BJP-led government, are staging a rally to protest against the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in connection with an alleged money laundering case related to the now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy.

The rally has been called by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is a part of INDIA bloc.

Among the leaders present at the rally were Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, former Maharashtra Chief Ministers Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar, CPI leader Sitaram Yechury, Congress chief Malliarjun Kharge, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Kalpana Soren (wife of Hemant Soren), Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, and AAP leaders including Gopal Rai.

During the rally, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said that they (BJP) are advocating for the slogan "400 Paar."

“If you anticipate securing more than 400 seats, why exhibit apprehension towards the AAP leader? You have imprisoned elected Chief Ministers, drawing criticism not just from within India but internationally as well,” said Yadav.

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the call for independence resonates now.

“Safeguarding our Constitution and republic embodies our independence. We shall attain this freedom,” he said.


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