Tremendous positive energy, warmth & genuine affection at Sonia Gandhi dinner: Rahul

Sonia Gandhi Rahul Gandhi

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi hosts dinner today; TDP, BJD, TRS not invited

Fabulous dinner tonight, hosted by UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi Ji.

Sources in the SP and BSP, however, maintained that the dinner meet can not be seen as an attempt to forge an alliance and that "regional parties" will continue to have an "inevitable greater control in state politics".

The RJD was represented by the son and daughter of party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav- former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav and Misa Bharti.

"Much political talk but much more important - tremendous positive energy, warmth and genuine affection", he wrote, and tagged a group photo of the attendees.

Reflecting the possible line-up against the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Trinamool Congress' Sudip Bandyopadhyay and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's Kanimozhi were among 19 party leaders who attended a dinner hosted by United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her residence March 13.

Prior to this meeting, Sonia Gandhi in her recent interviews said there is a necessity for opposition parties to work together at national level.

The congress leaders who attended the meeting include former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, opposition leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and another senior leader Randeep Singh Surjewala.

TRS chief and Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao also spoke enthusiastically about a federal front. "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.

According to top NCP sources, Sharad Pawar has called a meet of all opposition leaders, including the Congress, to discuss a strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Sonia has consistently been pushing for broader Opposition unity, urging political parties to set aside their local differences and get together in the larger national interest to keep the BJP out of power in 2019. It is interesting to be noted that the abovementioned ministers had been pulled out from the Modi Govt. before.

Key players like the Trinamul Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party were present, too, along with Left parties. "The intention is not political, but to hold discussions in family-like setting at a time when the nation is confronted with a number of issues and thousands of crores being taken out of the country", Surjewala told reporters after the dinner.

He said opposition leaders got together to discuss issues in the national interest, create bonhomie in the opposition and exchange views.

He claimed that the Congress was running away from a debate on the PNB scam as it "feared" that many skeletons in its cupboard will tumble out if a debate took place.

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