Over two years after they fell out in a spectacular public spat, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his former Aam Aadmi Party colleague, Yogendra Yadav, have decided to join hands once again.
This is a part of several civil society groups, trade unions and political parties—including the AAP and Swaraj Abhiyan—coming together on a single platform to fight what they call as the onslaught of “right wing fascism,” reported The Mint quoting PTI report..
Among those who were present at the meeting of the new forum when they issued a joint statement included AAP’s Dilip Pandey, Swaraj Abhiyan’s Yadav, Dalit rights activist Jignesh Mewani, CPI(ML) Red Star’s K.N. Ramachandran, and former IAS officer and social activist Harsh Mander.
Billed as “democratic coalition to rescue democracy”, the forum on Monday announced that it will stage a mega rally on 5 October in Delhi to protest against several issues including the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh and lynchings in the name of cow protection.
A statement released by the forum said, “Now is the time to respond. We earnestly appeal to all citizens who have shown the courage to say no to perpetrators of terror to build a broad, democratic coalition to rescue freedom and democracy from the onslaught of right wing fascism.”
The scheduled rally of 5 October will take place between Mandi House and Jantar Mantar at 1 PM. In the recent past, these parties unitedly backed the Narmada Bachao movement.
“We should stop being in denial that all this violence is happening by chance. It is taking place by design… Symbols of dissent are being silenced. AAP leader Ashish Khetan has received threats from Hindu extremist groups. The solution lies in struggle and we will back all such movements,” Pandey said.
Both Yadav and Supreme Court lawyer, Prashant Bhushan were unceremoniously expelled from AAP in 2015 after the party won a historic landslide in Delhi assembly elections. Since then, the duo formed a civil society group Swaraj Abhiyan, which was later transformed into a political entity, Swaraj India.