[India] March 12 (ANI): United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday hosted a dinner for opposition politicos in which leaders of 20 parties, including the Congress, attended.
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.
However, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala played down the motive behind holding the dinner.
This dinner hosted by Sonia Gandhi for opposition parties should not be seen through the prism of politics, it was for friendship and better dialogue between parties, the Congress leader said.
The non-Congress leaders who attended Sonia's dinner party are: Sharad Pawar of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Ram Gopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party (SP), Sharad Yadav- Hindustan Tribal Party (HTP), Sudip Bandyopadhyay of Trinamool Congress (TMC), Baddrauddin Ajmal of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Tejashwi Yadav and Misa Bharti of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Omar Abdullah of National Conference (NC), Hemant Soren of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Ajit Singh of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), D Raja of Communist Party of India (CPI), Md Salim of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Kanimozhi of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), PK Kunhalikutty of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Satish Chandra Mishra of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Babu Lal Madandi of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM), Ramachandran of Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Jitan Ram Manjhi of Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM), Dr Kupender Reddy of Janata Dal- Secular (JD-S), a representative of Kerala Congress (M).
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, and senior Congress leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel, AK Antony, and Randeep Singh Surjewala were also present at the dinner. (ANI)