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We can defeat Modi only through our unity: Tamil Nadu CM Stalin at INDIA bloc rally

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New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK supremo M K Stalin on Sunday said it is only through unity that the opposition can defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi and oust the "fascist" BJP to form a federal India.

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In his message at the INDIA bloc's rally here, he said the arrest of former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal shows the BJP's "growing desperation in the face of imminent defeat".

His message was read out by DMK leader in Rajya Sabha Tiruchi Siva, who represented the party at the rally.

Siva expressed hope that the national flag would be unfurled by the leaders of the INDIA bloc at the Red Fort on this year's Independence Day.

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Stalin, in his message, said the BJP high command views the leaders of the opposition alliance as "enemies" of the country, treating non-BJP state governments "atrociously".

"The BJP high command has been committing errors in desperation, as a formidable alliance against the BJP is formed by the opposition parties. The very term 'INDIA' became bitter for them after we formed an alliance.

"They have engaged in cheap tactics such as toppling democratically elected governments and breaking alliances against them. Subsequently, they unleash investigating agencies like the CBI, I-T, and ED to intimidate us," the Tamil Nadu CM said.

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"Those who succumb to fear join the BJP, and all actions against them are halted, even the cases against them are withdrawn. However, if someone dares to stand up against their intimidation, they are arrested and imprisoned. This sounds like an undeclared emergency in India," he said.

Exhorting the leaders of the INDIA bloc to continue their protest firmly, he said, "If Modi comes to power again, the democratic and constitutional characteristics of India would be uprooted. Please take this message to the masses." "Let us not forget that we can defeat Modi only through our unity! The formation of alliance has proceeded smoothly in many states. Talks pending in states shall be finalised soon so that we can start our campaign promptly. Only the votes of the people can put a full stop to the BJP's fascist rule," Stalin said.

He also expressed his strong condemnation, both personally and on behalf of the DMK, for the "unlawful arrest" of Kejriwal.

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He said the arrests of Soren and Kejriwal cannot dislodge the INDIA bloc.

"Instead, they only strengthen our resolve. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. We are witnessing the same in all states," he asserted.

"Until a few months ago, the BJP was arrogant, believing they would win the elections somehow. However, each day, they are moving closer to defeat," he claimed, adding that the BJP has now resorted to unleashing their agenda, such as the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Uniform Civil Code, and Ram temple, while hoping to save their "sinking ship".

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But none of these measures are helping, Stalin said. "Hence, they have turned to arresting leaders of the INDIA bloc. This reflects the BJP's growing desperation in the face of imminent defeat. The arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is a clear indication of this desperation." Stalin also noted that the BJP is well aware that Kejriwal's electoral campaign would draw a huge crowd and reception and that is why Prime Minister Modi has got him arrested to halt his campaigning.

However, more than the awareness that would have been created through Kejriwal's campaign, his arrest has sparked greater political awareness among the public, he said, adding that the educated, middle-class, upper-class and youth who welcomed Kejriwal's entry into politics are shocked by his arrest.

"They are convinced that this is an act of political vendetta by Narendra Modi. Even those who used to support PM Modi have started to criticise him after Kejriwal's arrest.

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"The dwindling support for PM Modi is further damaged by the arrest of Kejriwal. My friend Kejriwal is not just leading his state from inside the prison, he is also serving as a source of inspiration for all of us in the INDIA bloc," the DMK leader said.

"PM Modi would be disappointed if he thinks he can damage our unity by arresting Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. People are keenly observing every single thing happening across India. History shows that nobody has succeeded through tyranny. People will never allow the ugly play of tyrants.

"The cadre of the Aam Aadmi Party, working actively in the national capital, Punjab and other states, cannot be dispirited. It will only increase their determination to unseat the BJP," he said, asserting that the DMK stands firmly in support of AAP in these testing times.

Stalin said he could not attend the Delhi rally as he has started campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls, with Tamil Nadu having elections in the first phase.

He said he has been meeting people and "I could clearly see that the people of Tamil Nadu are ready to dismantle the fascist BJP".

"Let's defeat the Fascist BJP! Let's form a federal India," he said in his message. PTI SKC KVK KVK

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