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At Sonia’s iftar, Nitish Kumar at high table, Left marks its absence

The Congress, JD(U) and RJD plan to contest the Assembly elections in Bihar together.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: July 14, 2015 9:55 am
Sonia Gandhi, Iftar party, Iftar party, Sonia Gandhi Iftar party, congress, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Omar Abdullah, Nitish Kumar, Sonia Gandhi hosts Iftar Party, Rahul Gandhi News, Sonia Gandhi News, Mamata Banerjee, congress iftar party, India News, Delhi News, indian express Sonia Gandhi, Derek O’Brien and Nitish Kumar at the iftar on Monday. (Express Photo by: P Vaidyanathan Iyer)

Politics is almost always on the iftar menu in the capital and so it was at Sonia Gandhi’s this evening — sending a mixed signal to the BJP ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament.

Her guest list showed that Opposition unity may be largely intact but there are some chinks in that as well with regional rivals hesitant to be seen together.

So the Left parties were missing at the dinner where a representative of Mamata Banerjee was present. Sitting next to Gandhi on the dinner table was Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’Brien. Sources said CPM politburo member Mohammed Salim was to attend but the party had a change of heart at the last minute.

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Clearly, the discomfiture of being seen with the Trinamool and a reluctance to let the Congress flex its muscle and turn Parliament into a BJP vs Congress affair were said to be the reasons behind the Left’s absence. So Salim flew out of Delhi as the iftar was in progress. With the CPM deciding to skip, the CPI, too, followed suit. Gandhi had invited its Rajya Sabha leader D Raja.

The Samajwadi Party skipped the dinner although its senior leader Ram Gopal Yadav, sources said, had confirmed his presence. He was to be seated on Gandhi’s table. BSP veteran Satish Chandra Mishra was present and sat next to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

DMK had deputed M Karunanidhi’s daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi. DMK had no qualms as the AIADMK was not invited. She sat next to Rahul Gandhi who, interestingly, asked her about AIADMK and its perceived closeness with the BJP. He wanted to know whether there is a possibility of a BJP-AIADMK alliance for next year’s Assembly elections.

Unlike last year, Gandhi’s iftar today saw the presence of a large spectrum of Opposition leaders. And the cynosure of all eyes was, of course, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. In a skull cap and scarf, he sat next to Sonia. JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, too, was on this high table. RJD chief Lalu Prasad was absent as he was hosting his own iftar in Patna.

Kunwar Danish Ali represented the JD(S) while Lalu was represented by Prem Chand Gupta.

The Congress, JD(U) and RJD plan to contest the Assembly elections in Bihar together.

From NCP supremo Sharad Pawar to National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, the UPA constituents were present. RLD’S Ajit Singh was absent.

Was the presence of Opposition leaders an indication of what is in store for the monsoon session? Rahul, without mincing words, said the Opposition has always been “coordinating” and pointing towards others seated at the dinner table said “this is also an example of the coordination.”

Amid the war of words between the Congress and the BJP over the outcome of the Narendra Modi-Nawaz Sharif talks, Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit sitting next to Anand Sharma. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said talks with Pakistan are good but pointed out there are conflicting reports about the outcome.

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  1. M
    murali
    Jul 14, 2015 at 6:25 pm
    SO CALLED SECULAR HI'S ARE AGAIN TRYING TO FORM A TEAM OF CORRUPT POLITICAL WING AGAIN IN THE NAME OF POOR SECULAR WORD,THIS WORD NOW MOST COMMONLY USING BY CORRUPT PEOPLE LIKE LALU PRASAD,MULAYAM SINGH,MAYAWATI,KARUNANIDHI,SHARD PAWAR,NITISH KUMAR, SO CORRUPT KERALA CONGRESS,TMC/SHARAD YADAV AND GRATE HI FAMILY.WHICH LOOTED INDIA MORE THAN 60 YEARS.RAHUL HI VISITED NON CONGRESS OR NON UPA RULED STATES WHERE FARMER SUICIDE IS TAKING PLACE TO SHOWING HIS AMAR PREM BUT IN KARNATAKA WHERE 13 SUGAR FARMERS DIED WITHIN A WEEK RAHUL IS NOT GOING WHY THAT IS NOT INSAN .THIS ITSELF SHOWS HOW SERIOUS HE IS ,HE IS FOOLING OUR NATION AND PEOPLE.YESTERDAY HE MET SOME PEOPLE IN DELHI BUT WHEN HIS PARTY WAS IN POWER IN DELHI AND CENTER HE TOOK LEAVE FOR ENJOYING AND SHOWING PYAR JUST SHAMELESS FELLOW HE CAN CHEAT UNEDUCATED PEOPLE NOT EDUCATED YOUNG YOUTH OF INDIA
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    1. K
      Kishore Mehta
      Jul 14, 2015 at 9:50 pm
      Why no parties are organized for the Hindus who do fast on Shivaratri, Janmastami and on other religious holidays??? India has about 85% Hindu potion and strangely enough they are ignored in all spheres of life. If Muslims get subsidy for Haj why Hindus are not getting for Amarnath or Mansarovar yatra? This clearly speaks of the vote bank politics to appease minority. Our politicians are all power hungry and greedy in making illicit gains from their positions. Since independence, thousands of commissions and investigating teams have been appointed to probe scams and scandals and till this date except giving a light punishment, money involved in corruption has not been recovered fro the culprits. Why new laws are not enacted to fast tract process of trials and punishment? If this is done, most of the politicians will be out of political scenarios of the country. Currently, there is no one to wipe tears of the Bharat Mata who is so much adorned in speeches but not in action.
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      1. A
        Abhishek kumar
        Jul 14, 2015 at 1:45 pm
        her mudde ko suljhana hai....phir se Nitish kumar ko lana hai
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        1. I
          indian
          Jul 14, 2015 at 2:52 pm
          the days of such politics are over. Now either support development or perish. You cant win by saying "I support muslims and muslims will support us.". Period At present Nitish is most oppurtinistic politician.
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          1. I
            indian
            Jul 14, 2015 at 2:59 pm
            the days of such politics are over. Now either support development or perish. You cant win by saying "I support muslims and muslims will support us.". Period At present Nitish is most oppurtinistic politician.
            (0)(0)
            Reply
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