New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi hosted an iftar party on behalf of the Congress for the first time after becoming the party president, on Wednesday. The event was held at Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi.
The party was attended by former presidents Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil. Hamid Ansari, former vice-president, also attended the party along with several senior Congress leaders.
The guest list included several opposition leaders, like CPM’s Sitaram Yechuri, BSP’s Satish Mishra, Samajwadi Party’s Ramgopal Yadav, DMK’s Kanimozhi, National Conference’s Omar Abdullah, CPI’s D Raja, TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi, etc. However, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, TMC leader Mamata Banerjee and BSP leader Mayawati didn’t attend the party.
According to some media reports, Telangana chief minister and TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and Delhi chief minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal were invited for the event.
Former Congress president and Rahul Gandhi’s mother Sonia Gandhi couldn’t attend the party as she is undergoing treatment abroad.
The country is set to enter election mode soon with assembly elections in three key BJP-ruled states in less six months and the Lok Sabha election in less than a year. Therefore, the opposition gathering at Congress’s iftar party is of particular interest for the BJP, its allies and political observers. Analysts say the Congress is positioning itself at the centre of a united opposition against Narendra Modi’s BJP ahead of next year’s general election.
It must be noted that the Congress didn’t hold an iftar party in 2016 and 2017.