Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) will not join the anti-BJP ‘United India’ rally, organised by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Saturday.
“We have not received any invitation to join the rally. Our leader and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has made his stand very clear to the media that the BJD will maintain its equi-distance from the BJP and the Congress. Since our interest is Odisha and our party thrives with the people’s support, our party supremo will take a decision at the right time after reviewing the political scenario,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb told mediapersons here on Saturday.
Apart from the BJD, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) will not be part of the rally which will be attended by about 20 non-BJP parties.
Among those who will attend the rally are Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav, former Jharkhand Chief Minister and Jharkhand and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Hemant Soren, Aam Admi Party (AAP) president and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president Chandrababu Naidu, DMK president MK Stalin, National Conference (NC) supremo Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejaswi Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Misra, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh and leader Jayant Chowdhury, former Union Finance minister and BJP dissident Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, Opposition leader in Mizoram Lalduwahawma, former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Gegong Apang, former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, and Gujarat independent MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani.
Interestingly, BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha will also attend the rally.
While Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi have decided to skip the rally, the party would be represented by senior Congress leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge and Abhishek Manu Singhvi.