"The people who could not see eye to eye, who have lost (political) ground, have come together", he said referring to the opposition's attempts to cobble together a grand alliance before the Lok Sabha elections. Those attending the rally include former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha and Arun Shourie; three present chief ministers Arvind Kejriwal, Chandrababu Naidu and HD Kumaraswamy; and former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Akhilesh Yadav and Gegong Apang are also present.
West Bengal CM and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee had arrived at the venue.
After the formation of a strong alliance between Samajwadi and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) last week in the state of Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 members to the lower house, Modi's party faces a risk of losing elections, Banerjee said.
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"The TMC should not talk about restoring democracy in the country". "Wherever BJP meets, we will hold a meeting at the same place the next day", Banerjee said.
A senior Opposition leader, who has been in the thick of coalition building in the past, says the question is whether it would be a repeat of 1996 when the Congress backed a minority government or of 2004 when smaller parties backed a Congress-led government.
"The entire country is echoing with the demand to oust the BJP".
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Politicians at the rally, whose organisers said was attended by more than a million people, said India's growth had slowed during Modi's term and their first priority was to defeat him, adding a replacement would be decided after the elections.
Meanwhile, Shatrughan Sinha, who shared the stage with opposition leaders in Kolkata, said that he was not afraid of being removed from the ruling party. But the party was represented by Mallikarjun Kharge and Abhishek Manu Singhvi. We have come together with just one aim. "We all have to fight together to ensure that they are defeated", Banerjee said. Even in the past when BJP was in power, they never did this, unlike the present government. PM Modi said his actions against corruption have infuriated some people. He said national interest should take precedence over individuals.
"Only few hours to go for the historic "United India Rally" at the Brigade Parade Grounds".
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