PATNA : Rebel JD-U leader Sharad Yadav on Sunday pledged to form a 'Mahagathbandhan' (Grand Alliance) at the national level to defeat and oust the BJP-led NDA in the next general election. "Hindustan bhar mein Gathbandhan banega ab," Sharad Yadav roared to applause from the large gathering at a rally here organised by RJD chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad.
Without naming Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is also the JD-U President, Sharad Yadav said: "I would like to remind those who broke the Grand Alliance in Bihar that now we will form the Grand Alliance at the national level."
He said breaking the Grand Alliance of the JD-U, RJD and Congress in Bihar was a betrayal of people of Bihar and their mandate. "People were cheated. I am sure and certain that i will form a Grand Alliance in the country."
He said he will visit every noook and corner of the country to form a Grand Alliance of 1.25 crore people.
Sharad Yadav said the formation of a Grand Alliance this time would be different to make a real difference on the ground for the people.
He cautioned people that a nexus of politics and religion was dangerous. "If politics and religion mix, it create trouble like what happened in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan."
"I will fight till my last breath. I am member of Parliament for last 43 years but i will not hesitate to fight to protect the country from decisive forces."
Sharad Yadav shared a stage for the first time with Lalu Prasad at the "Desh Bachao, BJP Bhagao" rally at the Gandhi Maidan, ignoring the JD-U's warning not to attend it.
JD-U leaders including General Secretary K.C. Tyagi and party spokesperson Neeraj Kumar declared that Sharad Yadav had now joined hands with the corrupt and that the JD-U led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would act against him.
Sharad Yadav was warmly welcomed by Lalu Prasad when he reached the stage. A smiling Lalu Prasad shook hands with and hugged Sharad Yadav before the huge gathering.
Before coming to attend the rally, Sharad Yadav told the media that he was with the Grand Alliance and his JD-U was real JD-U.
"Lets wait for one or two months. I will publicly prove it that the JD-U is our party," he said.
Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also attended the rally.
C.P. Joshi of the Congress, NCP's Tarique Anwar, RLD's Choudhary Jayant Singh, CPI's Sudhakar Reddy, former Jharkhand Chief Ministers Hemant Soren of JMM, Babulal Marandi of the JVM, AIUDF leader Baadruddin Azmal and leaders from the DMK, JD-S and RSP also attended the rally.
Thousands of people attended the rally despite floods affecting major parts of Seemanchal, Koshi and Mithilanchal regions of north Bihar.
Also present at the rally were Lalu Prasad's younger son and former Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, his elder son Tej Pratap Yadav, his wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi and their daughter Misa Bharti.