PATNA, Aug 27 - Leaders of several opposition parties today came together at an RJD rally here and gave a call for dethroning the BJP in the next parliamentary election but much of the sheen was lost due to the absence of leaders like Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul and BSP chief Mayawati.
Political heavyweights who attended the rally included West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad and JD(U) rebel Sharad Yadav.
Buoyed by the impressive turnout at Gandhi Maidan, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and other leaders claimed the countdown for the ouster of the BJP and its allies from power in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls had begun.
Other opposition parties that were represented at the rally included NCP, National Conference, DMK, Kerala Congress, RLD, CPI, JMM, JVM, JD(S) of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, AIUDF of Assam, RSP and CPI-ML. No CPI-M leader attended the rally citing the presence of Mamata Banerjee whose TMC is its main rival in West Bengal politics.
Besides the BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who dumped the Grand Alliance over alleged corruption by Lalu and his family members, and later formed the government with the saffron party, was the butt of criticism by opposition leaders.
Rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav attended the rally, defying the party�s directive against it, and spoke at length about the disintegration of the Grand Alliance in Bihar.
Yadav said he would now work for forging a �Gathbandhan� (Alliance) of 125 crore citizens, an apparent reference to attempts at cobbling together a coalition of opposition parties against BJP-led NDA.
Recorded messages of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi were played at the event. JD(S) representative Danish Ali read out the message of his party leader HD Deve Gowda.
Lalu Prasad, Mamata Banerjee, Gulam Nabi Azad, Sharad Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav and others mounted a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and questioned what happened to his promise of ushering in �achche din� (good days) in the three years that he has been in power. � PTI