Rahul Gandhi hosts dinner for Congress MPs, leaders of opposition parties

Rahul Gandhi

Thirteen years after he entered politics, Rahul Gandhi took oven reins of Congress party from his mother Sonia Gandhi.

At an event in Pratapgarh district, Shrichand Kriplani, minister for urban development and housing in Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's government, paid Rahul Gandhi several backhanded compliments, including this one: Rahul is the BJP's star campaigner.

In his first speech to party cadres and leaders, Rahul Gandhi pitted himself directly against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Lashing out at Rahul Gandhi for accusing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of indulging in divisive politics, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said irrespective of any change at the helm, the Congress would continue to symbolise corruption. Politics belongs to the people, it is their greatest weapon in dismantling the structures that oppress, silence and disempower them.

"The Congress took India into the 21st Century while the Prime Minister (Modi) is taking us backwards to a medieval past where people are butchered because of who they are, beaten for what they believe and killed for what they eat."This ugly violence shames us in the world". We do not fight hate with hate.

Describing the Congress as an ancient idea, he targeted BJP leaders alleging that they "are soldiers fighting for the self and for how much they can have and how they can protect their power, while stopping others". He added: "We are going to make Congress grand old and young party".

Though Congress leaders said it is a customary dinner organised during the Parliament session, some view the effort as a an attempt to bring them closer to Rahul Gandhi.

"At that time, as far as I remember, we had only three State governments and were on far away from the Centre".

"Meeting this challenge was not a marvel achieved by any one individual".

Former PM Manmohan Singh praised the leadership Sonia provided to the Congress and the support she extended to him. Expertise, experience and knowledge can be cast aside for personal glory.



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