Mission 2019: Sonia Gandhi hosts dinner to opposition parties


Clarifying to media that dinner with opposition leaders should not be seen from a political angle, Congress party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "This dinner hosted by Sonia Gandhi ji for opposition parties should not be seen from the prism of politics, it was for friendship and better dialogue between parties".

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.Hemant Soren of JMM, Badruddin Ajmal of AIUDF, Mohd Salim of CPM, D Raja of CPI have also joined the dinner party.

Sonia's dinner diplomacy is being seen as an effort to forge a broader front against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the 2019 general elections.

In the meeting, Mr. Kumar had spoken to BJP parliamentarians about continuing deadlock in Parliament, whose second phase of the Budget Session has been a washout so far.

Rahul Gandhi tweeted after the dinner that there was "much political talk" but also "tremendous positive energy, warmth and genuine affection".

Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha, said, "They are making excuses so as to avoid the discussion on crucial issues in House.This is a blot on democracy, you run away from discussions and then you say opposition parties are not ready for discussions".

Food Prices to Moderate Downward Inflation Trajectory
India's industrial output grew 7.5 percent in January from a year earlier, government data showed on Monday. The overall consumer price index rose 0.2% on the month and 2.2% from a year ago, matching expectations.

Multiple teams reported to have interest in Malcolm Butler
Between those career landmarks, Butler started 54 of a possible 55 games and played more defensive snaps than any Patriots player. Butler is coming off a season in which he finished with two interceptions, three forced fumbles, a sack and 60 combined tackles.

TDP protests in Parliament demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh
Meanwhile, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party today gave a notice in Rajya Sabha over short duration discussion on sealing drive in Delhi.

There have been clear indications from senior Opposition leaders that they still continue to hold Sonia as their go-to person. It is interesting to be noted that the abovementioned ministers had been pulled out from the Modi Govt. before.

Kumar said besides the financial business, the government was keen to get Parliament approval for the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, Payment of Gratuity Bill, the Medical Council of India Bill among others.

Kumar cited BJP's alliance with local parties in northeast states to claim that the NDA is becoming "NDA plus".

It is also noteworthy that Sonia Gandhi took the lead for the get together of the leaders even after Rahul Gandhi has taken over as the Congress President in December past year with the feeling in the Opposition that senior leaders would show deference to her more than to her son.

Sonia Gandhi has called for opposition unity and said parties should set aside their minor differences to get together in the larger interest of keeping the BJP out of power in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Earlier in the day, the BJP hit out at the Congress.