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Opposition leaders march together in Mumbai, setting tone for 2019 polls

NCP's Supriya Sule and former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah at opposition's 'Save Constitution' rally in Mumbai on Friday. Photograph:( ANI )

PTI Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Jan 26, 2018, 10.58 AM (IST)

Opposition leaders came together in Mumbai for a march on Friday which began from B R Ambedkar's statue near the state secretariat in the afternoon.

Leaders like Sharad Pawar, Sharad Yadav, D Raja, Hardik Patel, Omar Abdullah, Dinesh Trivedi and Sushilkumar Shinde took part in the 'Save Constitution' march.

"Since 1947, we have been deriving our identity from the Indian Constitution. We all have come here to send across a message that to save the country, the constitution should be protected," former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said after the march.

Earlier, the leaders met at the official residence of Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil in south Mumbai.

Sharad Pawar (NCP), Sharad Yadav (rebel JD-U leader), D Raja (CPI), Hardik Patel (Gujarat's Patidar leader), Dinesh Trivedi (Trinamool Congress) and Sushilkumar Shinde (Congress) attended the meeting.

The 'Save Constitution' march is being seen as an attempt to consolidate anti-BJP parties ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Independent MP from Maharashtra Raju Shetti, the convener of the 'Save Constitution' march, who was also present at the meeting, said participants gathered near the Ambedkar statue and began walking towards Shivaji Maharaj statue at the Gateway of India.

Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan and Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam also joined the march.

The Maharashtra unit of the BJP has, meanwhile, organised 'Tiranga Yatra' in the city on Friday to counter the opposition event.

Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar said that several ministers, MPs and MLAs will participate in the Yatra.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will address the gathering when it converges at Kamgar Maidan, he said.

The procession will start from Chaityabhumi, the memorial of B R Ambedkar in Dadar, before reaching Kamgar Maidan in central Mumbai.