Sonia Gandhi hosts dinner for 17 Opposition leaders at 10 Janpath
Sonia Gandhi hosts dinner for 17 Opposition leaders at 10 Janpath
Rahul Gandhi for all-out support to farmers
14 March, 2018, 09:46
Clarifying to media that dinner with opposition leaders should not be seen from a political angle, Congress party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "This dinner hosted by Sonia Gandhi ji for opposition parties should not be seen from the prism of politics, it was for friendship and better dialogue between parties". Rahul Gandhi, the Congress president called the dinner "an opportunity" for leaders to "meet and bond". "Much political talk but much more important - tremendous positive energy, warmth and genuine affection", Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
Briefing reporters on the BJP parliamentary party meeting, which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its president Amit Shah, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government has been talking to different parties to break the deadlock in Parliament and targeted the Congress. "This dinner was not hosted for politics, but for amity and friendship".
The prominent leaders in attendance were NCPs Sharad Pawar, SPs Ram Gopal Yadav, BSPs Satish Chandra Misra and former chief ministers Omar Abdullah, Babulal Marandi, Hemant Soren and Jiten Ram Manjhi, besides JD (U) s Sharad Yadav and RLDs Ajit Singh.
After the dinner, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav said, "We are united and parties like Shiv Sena and TDP are not happy in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)". "This is a part of that effort", said expelled Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav said when asked if there will be a front of opposition parties in 2019. "The intention is not political, but to hold discussions in a family-like setting at a time when the nation is confronted with a number of issues, including the farmers' unrest", he said after the dinner. The agenda of this dinner is to discuss on the amid talk of forging a broader front against the BJP-led NDA ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The tussle started on the issue of the public sector bank frauds when the second half of budget session began on 5 March.
He said opposition leaders got together to discuss issues in national interest, create bonhomie in the opposition and exchange views.
Kumar cited BJP's alliance with local parties in northeast states to claim that the NDA is becoming "NDA plus".
Lalu's son and Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav is also likely to attend the dinner but there was no confirmation.
This dinner is also significant in the context of moves by regional parties like the Telanagana Rashtra Samiti and the Telugu Desam Party, which have attacked the BJP in the recent past and are said to be jockeying for a third front of parties against the BJP and Congress.
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