New Delhi: After deciding to skip the mega rally of the TMC in Kolkata on Saturday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday sent a message to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee extending his support to the event hoping that the "show of unity" will send a powerful message of "a united India together" for ideas that the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were intent on destroying.
Describing the Trinamool Congress chief as "Mamata Di" in the message, he said the entire opposition was united in its 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 Modi are intent on destroying."
Congress leaders said that Gandhi will not be attending the mega opposition rally convened by Banerjee as a major show of opposition unity against the Narendra Modi government ahead of the coming Lok Sabha elections. The party, they said, will be represented by Leader of the party in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and the party's Rajya Sabha member Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
Both Gandhi and Banerjee are seen as aspirants to the post of prime minister. "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," Gandhi said.
"We commend the great people of Bengal who have historically been at the forefront of defending our ideals," he added.
The Congress chief said that across India there are powerful forces afoot which are moved by the hope of a new tomorrow and people want an India where the voice of every Indian is heard and respected.
"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 said.