Kolkata: Former Union Ministers Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha — all of whom had served in late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet but have been bitterly opposed to the present Narendra Modi regime — will be part of the January 19 Brigade Rally convened by Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here, which would be attended by a host of opposition leaders.
Trinamool sources said all three have confirmed that they would participate in the rally expected to provide a contour of the coming together of opposition parties to combat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Former Union Finance and External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha had resigned from the BJP last year and even launched a countrywide campaign against the present government and his old party.
Patnasahib MP and actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha — a BJP rebel, who misses no opportunity to take a dig at Modi — will also be present at the Brigade Parade Ground on Saturday.
The actor-politician’s relations with the BJP are said to be on the brink, and some party leaders have suggested he should quit the party instead of “damaging” it from inside.
An eminent journalist, Shourie, who had served as a World Bank economist for some time and held the office of the Minister of Disinvestment, Communication and Information Technology in the government of India under Vajpayee, will also be at Banerjee’s rally.
Banerjee had called on all three leaders during her trip to Delhi.
Besides, Patidar leader Hardik Patel, Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani and Babulal Marandi of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha would also be present on the stage alongside the TMC supremo.
DMK President M.K. Stalin, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh and Lalu Prasad’s son Tejashwi Yadav would also be among the political leaders at the rally.
Though Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati has decided to stay away, she has deputed senior leader Satish Chandra Mishra, sources said.
Banerjee has already announced that former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Karnataka counterpart H.D. Kumaraswamy, as also political heavyweights like Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav would address the rally.
While Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi are giving the rally a miss, the party would be represented by leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.
Banerjee said she had invited the Left parties, including CPI-M leader and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, but was yet to receive any confirmation.
National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah have also confirmed their participation.