This was Rahul Gandhi's first Iftar party as President of the Grand Old Party
Rahul Gandhi hosted his first iftar party as the president of Congress at Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi yesterday. However, prominent leaders from the Opposition parties were missing from the event.
TMC’s Mamata Banerjee, BSP’s Mayawati, NCP’s Sharad Pawar and SP’s Akhilesh Yadav were among leaders who did not attend the event. In fact, there was no representative of the Samajwadi Party at all.
Among those present were Congress veterans Manmohan Singh, former President Pratibha Patil, former Vice-President Hamid Ansari and former President Pranab Mukherjee. This was the first time Rahul and Pranab met face-to-face after the latter decided to address the valedictory event of the RSS and there were subsequent rumors of him joining the BJP. Sonia Gandhi could not attend the event as she is abroad.
Good food, friendly faces and great conversation make for a memorable Iftar! We were honoured to have two former Presidents, Pranab Da & Smt Pratibha Patil ji join us, along with leaders from different political parties, the media, diplomats and many old & new friends. pic.twitter.com/TM0AfORXQa
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 13, 2018
The absence of prime leaders compels a comparison with the iftar party that then Congress president Sonia Gandhi had hosted in 2015. That party had seen JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, seated next to Rahul. Sharad Pawar and National Conference Leader Omar Abdullah had also made it to the party, although they weren’t present yesterday. RLD’s Ajit Singh and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav were also among the absentees from Rahul's party.
On Wednesday, arch enemies CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury and TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi shared the table as against in 2015, when the CPI(M) had given Sonia’s party a miss because it was allegedly uncomfortable sharing the table with the TMC.During the iftar party, Rahul also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet on Fitness Challenge that he had put up earlier on Wednesday. He was seen as saying, “Did you see the PM’s fitness video? It is bizarre…”