Sonia Gandhi hosts dinner for Opposition parties, spokesperson says meet 'not political'

Rahul and Sonia Gandhi with other senior party members

"This dinner was not hosted for politics, but for amity and friendship".

Mr. Pawar too has been reaching out and plans to hold a meet of Opposition parties later this month.

However, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the dinner should not be seen as a political event.

He also said the leaders reflected tremendous positive energy, warmth and genuine affection. However, amid the feud between the Telgu Desham Party (TDP) of Andhra Pradesh, Lead by Chandrabhanu Naidu, has not been invited to the dinner hosted by Sonia Gandhi.TDP made headlines after it recently pulled out two of its ministers' from PM Modi's government. An opportunity for leaders from different political parties to meet and bond, informally.

The Congress chief Rahul Gandhi described the dinner meet as one that created "positive energy, warmth and genuine affection".

Billed as a show of strength by the Opposition, the dinner was attended by Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and his party colleague Tariq Anwar, Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Tejashwi Yadav and his sister Misa Bharti from the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, Kanimozhi of the DMK, Rashtriya Lok Dal president Ajit Singh and Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party.

"The effort is on. TRS is not happy".

"We want to run the Budget Session to the fullest extent even after completion of the financial business", Kumar told reporters here, dismissing speculation of an early end to the Budget Session which has not witnessed any substantive business since it re-convened on March 5.

He accused the government of running away from debate in parliament on the Rs 12,600 crore PNB fraud case as also failing to tackle unemployment and problems of farmers.

At a time when the government was not allowing Parliament to function, he claimed, it was obvious that leaders of various parties, who wanted to raise issues in national interest, would get together to discuss the current political situation. "There will be unofficial discussion on how to fix accountability of the government", he said.

Besides Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and party leaders Ahmed Patel, and A.K. Antony were among those present. As all the opposition parties seem to be finding ways to de-throne the rising power of BJP, the gala dinner is likely to be attended by 17 opposition parties.



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