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20 opposition parties attend Sonia Gandhi dinner

14 March 2018

It is also noteworthy that Sonia Gandhi organized and hosted the dinner get-together, even after Rahul Gandhi took over as Congress president in December of a year ago, as it was believed that senior Opposition leaders would show more deference to her than they would to her son. KCR got support from various parties in first place, and he is set to meet leaders of regional parties and bureaucrats after the ongoing budget session in Telangana.

"Much political talk but much more important - tremendous positive energy, warmth and genuine affection", Gandhi said in a tweet. "This is a part of that effort", said expelled Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav said when asked if there will be a front of opposition parties in 2019.

"The opposition parties are united. and the NDA breaking apart", he said, pointing to Chandrababu Naidu's TDP and the Shiv Sena, the BJP ally from Maharashtra that has increasingly been its sharpest critic.

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"You can also see NDA allies are also angry".

Though attendance of various other opposition party heads are yet to be confirmed, it is known that the NCP president is likely to invite TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao for the meet.

There have been clear indications from senior Opposition leaders that they still continue to hold Sonia as their go-to person. Manjhi last week said goodbye to NDA and joined the Mahagathbandhan.

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Congress communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters the leaders discussed ways to fix accountability of the Narendra Modi government in parliament. He also accused the government of running away from debate on key issues such as banking frauds.

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 national interest, would get together to discuss the current political situation. "This is our duty to let it work and the government has been doing everything to ensure that it happens", he said.

The leaders, who finally made it to the high-table were Ram Gopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Badruddin Ajmal (AIUDF), Sharad Pawar (NCP), Tejashwi Yadav, Misa Bharti (RJD), Omar Abdullah (National Conference), Hemant Soren (JMM), Ajit Singh (RLD), D Raja (CPI), Mohd Salim (CPIM), Kanimozhi (DMK), Kutti (IUML), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP), Babulal Marandi (JVM), Ramachandran (RSP), Sharad Yadav (Bharatiya Tribal Party), Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC), Jitan Ram Majhi (Hindustan Awam Morcha), Dr Kupender Reddy (JDS), a member of Kerala Congress. TMC's Derek O'Brien, who had initially planned to come, took the evening off to celebrate his birthday.

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Congress party former chief Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday hosted dinner for leaders from the opposition parties.

20 opposition parties attend Sonia Gandhi dinner