'Positive energy, genuine affection': Rahul Gandhi says Sonia's dinner meet an 'opportunity'


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

Among those who attended the dinner were former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Opposiiton in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, rebel JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Ram Gopal Yadav of SP, Satish Chandra Mishra of BSP, Kanimozhi of DMK, Omar Abdullah of NC, Tejaswi Yadav of RJD, Mohd Saleem and T Rangrajan of the CPM and D Raja of the CPI.

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 tweeted.

Congress communications in charge Randeep Surjewala said the dinner was not organised for politics, but for amity and friendship among opposition parties.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said there were positive energy and genuine affection during dinner hosted by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The BJD and the TRS rule Odisha and Telangana respectively.

Outside, Sharad Yadav spoke of the dinner as one step closer to lining up the opposition on the same side at the 2019 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.

Considerable significance is being attached to the dinner in the midst of speculation about the political realignment that could take place ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.

However, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala played down the motive behind holding the dinner.

In the letter, opposition parties have pointed out that there was no discussion on tabling the Finance Bill during the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting and that the government had listed the bill without informing any political party in advance.

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.

He said opposition leaders got together to discuss issues in the national interest, create bonhomie in the opposition and exchange views. Seventeen opposition parties had come together against the BJP-led NDA during the presidential and vice-presidential elections past year and Sonia Gandhi has been holding occasional meetings to nurture the bonding. However, all three were represented by senior party leaders. "It was a show of strength by the non-BJP parties", a Left leader told PTI.