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Sonia hosts dinner for opposition parties

Sonia hosts dinner for opposition parties

He claimed at a time when the government was not allowing Parliament to function, it was obvious that leaders of various parties, who wanted to raise issues in the national interest, would get together to discuss the current political situation.

In a post on social media, Rahul said, " Fabulous dinner tonight, hosted by UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi Ji.

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.

Left and TMC leaders who were present said it was certainly a "political dinner without political talks".

Some leaders later said the dinner was part of effort to forge a united front to take on the BJP in the Lok Sabha battle next year, noting that regional rivals were coming together.

Truce eluded the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and a united opposition for the seventh consecutive day of the budget session on Tuesday with virtually no business being conducted in the disruption-hit Houses of Parliament.

Sonia Gandhi hosted the opposition dinner at 10 Janpath.

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

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

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.

The dinner hosted by Mrs Gandhi is expected to set the tone for opposition unity in the run-up to the next general elections. "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.

The tussle started on the issue of the public sector bank frauds when the second half of budget session began on 5 March.

This dinner is also significant in the context of moves by regional parties like the Telanagana Rashtra Samiti and the Telugu Desam Party, which have attacked the BJP in the recent past and are said to be jockeying for a third front of parties against the BJP and Congress. "This is our duty to let it work and the government has been doing everything to ensure that it happens", said Ananth Kumar, parliamentary affairs minister.


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