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Positive energy, genuine affection in Sonia's dinner: Rahul

14 March 2018

He also made light of Ms. Sonia Gandhi's invite to Opposition parties for a dinner, saying her dinner politics will be only about dinner while the BJP under Mr. Modi remains a "winner" with the ruling NDA attracting more allies.

Indian Union Muslim League 's P. K. Kunhalikutty, Jose K. Mani of the Kerala Congress (Mani) party, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik's Babulal Marandi, the Revolutionary Socialist Party's N. K. Premachandran, veteran socialist leader Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Lok Dal's Ajit Singh and Janata Dal-Secular's Kupendra Reddy were also present, as was Hindustan Awam Morcha leader Jiten Ram Manjhi, who quit the National Democratic Alliance last month. "Much political talk but much more important - tremendous positive energy, warmth and genuine affection", said Rahul Gandhi.

Sonia Gandhi hosted the opposition dinner at 10 Janpath. KCR was seen emerging in South India after he announced to initiate a collaboration of local parties against both national parties - Congress and BJP.

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".

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With the collaboration of all these parties, Congress is wanting to make a comeback in national politics and this is the first diplomatic step towards it.

The Bahujan Samaj Party, which has skipped Opposition meetings in the past, was represented by senior leader Satish Chandra Misra. It could not be taken up amid objections raised by opposition parties who have written to Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan requesting her intervention.

Kumar hit out at the Congress, dubbing it the "prime mover" of the disruptions in Parliament, and accused it of going back on its word after agreeing to a debate on the PNB scam under a rule that does not entail voting.

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.

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Mamata Banerjee had recently spoken to several key regional party leaders to renew the focus on efforts at forming a non-BJP platform.

"It continues to have a similar repressive mindset toward democracy".

The Congress put the onus on the government to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said Gandhi's dinner politics will be only about dinner as the BJP, under Modi, remains a victor with ruling NDA attracting more allies. Kumar alleged that Congress was running away from a debate.

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The BJP, however, dubbed the dinner as of no effect.

Positive energy, genuine affection in Sonia's dinner: Rahul