Congress president Rahul Gandhi has written a letter seemingly in an effort to make amends for his and his party's snub to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over attending the latter's mega-rally on Saturday.
With Mallikarjun Kharge being the Congress party's top representative at the rally in Kolkata where Banerjee plans to make her show of strength ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Rahul Gandhi first attacks the government:
"Across India there are powerful forces afoot. Forces that are fanned by the anger and disappointment of hundreds of millions of Indians who have seen through the false promises and lies peddled by the Modi government. These forces are moved by the hope of a new tomorrow; a tomorrow filled with the idea of an India in which the voice of every man, woman and child will be heard and respected no matter what their religion, economic status or region."
He then makes a show of opposition unity, despite at least two non-Congress fronts showing signs of having formed:
"The entire opposition is united in our belief that true nationalism and development can only be defended on the tested pillars of democracy, social justice and secularism, ideas that the BJP and Mr Modi are intent on destroying."
Finally, he addresses West Bengal and Mamata Banerjee directly:
"We commend the great people of Bengal who have historically been at the forefront of defending our ideals.
I extend my support to Mamata Di on this show of unity and hope that we send a powerful message of a united India together."
The letter is addressed to Mamata Banerjee in her capacity as chief of the Trinamool Congress.
The letter comes just a day before the mega-rally, which the Trinamool Congress has been planning for a long time now. In August, Republic TV had accessed a letter written by Mamata Banerjee to Hardik Patel personally inviting him. The letter was dated August 29. In the letter she described the rally as being mammoth and historic.
She had also invited Sonia and Rahul Gandhi to this rally in August when she had visited them in New Delhi.
Speaking about the rally on Thursday, Mamata Banerjee had refused to remark on the Congress' prospects for the upcoming polls. When asked if the total number of seats of the leaders who are attending the rally will be more than that of the BJP and the Congress, she said:
"Obviously. The seats will be more than BJP. Congress, I don't know about Congress, depends on elections. BJP will not get more than 125 seats."
The following political leaders are expected to be present along with Mamata Banerjee as the opposition tries to show its unity: