After RSS visit, all eyes on Pranab at Rahul's Iftar

After RSS visit, all eyes on Pranab at Rahul's Iftar

Former president Pranab Mukherjee during the Iftar party hosted by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

Putting behind the controversy over the RSS visit, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday hosted former president Pranab Mukherjee, a host of Opposition leaders, diplomats and party workers for an Iftar evening here – his first since he took over the reins of the grand old party.

Rahul was seated at the high-table flanked by former presidents Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil. Also present at the table were former vice president Hamid Ansari, TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, DMK leader Kanimozhi and BSP’s Satish Chandra Mishra.

Though Rahul did not interact with the media, he did utter “bizarre” when asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fitness video posted on Twitter. 

Rahul was seen having a long chat with Mukherjee, whose visit to the RSS headquarters on June 7 had caused quite a heartburn within the Congress. 

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi did not attend the event as she is in the US for her annual medical check-up.

Top rung leaders Sharad Pawar, Mayawati and Mamata Banerjee were missing from the iftar but had sent in their representatives. Sharing the table with former prime minister Manmohan Singh was socialist leader Sharad Yadav, RJD’s Manoj Jha, JD(S) leader Kunwar Danish Ali, former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and AIUDF leader Badruddin Ajmal.

JMM leader Hemant Soren and NCP’s D P Tripathi also attended the Iftaar. However, the Congress had kept away the AAP from the event which was billed as a show of opposition unity ahead of the 2019 LS polls. 

“Good food, friendly faces and great conversation make for a memorable Iftar! We were honoured to have two former presidents, Pranab Da & Smt Pratibha Patil ji join us, along with leaders from different political parties, the media, diplomats and many old & new friends,” Rahul tweeted after the event.