The night of June 13 saw a number of iftar parties hosted by political leaders from Delhi to Patna. The Congress hosted its first Iftar party after Congress President Rahul Gandhi took over the reins of the party. Given the recent moves at Opposition unity, the Congress iftar turned into a meeting ground for several Opposition leaders, many of whom were seen discussing lighter matters and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fitness video.
In a light moment at the table he shared with two former presidents Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and BSP leader Satish Mishra, Rahul asked Mukherjee if he had seen the PM’s “bizarre” fitness video. However, Mukherjee maintained a studied silence.
Noting Rahul’s comment, TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi laughed heartily and taking a cue, Rahul turned to the Communist veteran Sitaram Yechury, stating, “Sitaram ji you have not shared your fitness video yet.”
Later, sharing his picture with Pranab da on the micro blogging site Twitter, Rahul called his party memorable.
Trinamool leader Dinesh Trivedi, who was at the same table as Gandhi and DMK MP Kanimozhi, was confident of DMK’s win in the next elections. When asked about a recent survey which predicted DMK’s clean sweep in Tamil Nadu, he quipped, “Do we need to do a survey to know that the DMK is going to bounce back in Tamil Nadu”
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader, Hemant Soren, who had flown from Ranchi to Delhi to attend the iftar, said that the alliance with the Congress-led UPA will be for 2019 general election as well as next assembly election in the state.
Interestingly, BJP Patna Sahib MP Shatrughan Sinha chose to attend the RJD iftar in Patna, giving a miss to the iftar party hosted by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar the same evening. The JD(U) iftar hosted by Nitish saw the presence of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, said to be moving closer to Nitish, and BJP Deputy CM of Bihar Sushil Modi
Apart from opposition leaders, almost all senior leaders including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party general secretary Ashok Gehlot and leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad had attended the iftar hosted by Rahul Gandhi. However, SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav, BSP supreme Mayawati and NCP chief Sharad Pawar gave the Iftar party a miss.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav could not attend the iftar as was hosting his own iftar in Patna on Wednesday, but RJD national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha attended the Congress Iftar. Interestingly, BJP Patna Sahib MP Shatrughan Sinha chose to attend the RJD iftar in Patna, giving a miss to the iftar party hosted by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar the same evening. The JD(U) iftar hosted by Nitish saw the presence of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, said to be moving closer to Nitish, and BJP Deputy CM of Bihar Sushil Modi.
BJP leader and Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi meanwhile, threw an iftar party at his Delhi residence for women from different sections like social activists, victims of triple talaq and common housewives and claimed that his was just a social event while Congress President Rahul Gandhi's iftar party was for "political engineering".
"It's not a political Iftar. Their iftar is political engeeniring while ours is a social event with a social message. This iftar party has nothing to do with politics. Usually people host Iftar for VIPs but I have hosted it for women from all strata," Naqvi said. "These women are VIPs for us. In such iftar parties, men are specially invited but this is women-centric iftar party," he added.
Naqvi also gifted a pair of salwar kameez as Eid gift to each woman. Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Harshvardhan, M.J. Akbar, Smriti Irani, Prakash Javdekar and Jitendra Singh attended the event along with Bharatiya Janata Party national spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain.
With IANS inputs