New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) Though Congress President Rahul Gandhi's Iftar party was not attended by many heavyweight opposition leaders, the party said the "opposition unity was gaining strength" and many leaders could not come as they were in their state capitals.
Congress leader Rajeev Shukla told reporters: "Samajwadi Party not attending the Iftar doesn't mean they boycotted it. They could not come maybe because they didn't have any leader in Delhi now. SP is also with us in opposition unity."
He was responding to the BJP's attack on Gandhi of not having acceptance of prominent opposition leaders.
"The representation of all the parties was important in the Iftar party. Most of the people of the opposition had come to the Iftar party. The leaders of some parties were in their state capitals hence they had sent their representatives. It was important for them participate in the Iftar," Shukla told reporters.
"The leaders who were in Delhi came. Those who were not there, their representatives came. So BJP's remark doesn't hold water," he added.
"Opposition unity is gaining strength, whether it was the display of unity during the oath-taking ceremony in Karnataka or yesterday's (Wednesday) Iftar party where most of the parties were present.
"One or two parties could not come for some reason, but their support is entirely with the opposition unity," he said.
Gandhi's Iftar party was not attended by prominent opposition leaders like H.D. Deve Gowda, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.
Even Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, who was believed to have been invited, did not attend.