Congress president Rahul Gandhi has called the dinner hosted by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for leaders of opposition parties “fabulous”. “Tremendous positive energy, warmth and genuine affection,” tweeted the Congress chief along with a photograph of all the leaders who attended the dinner.

The Gandhi scion shared a photograph of his interaction with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Khadge. Another picture he shared was one with DMK leader Kanimozhi.

“Fabulous dinner tonight, hosted by UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi Ji. An opportunity for leaders from different political parties to meet and bond, informally. Much political talk but much more important – tremendous positive energy, warmth and genuine affection,” said Rahul Gandhi.

Among those present in the dinner were NCP chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, DMK’s Kanimozhi and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav. Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who recently quit the JDU-BJP alliance in Bihar, also was part of the dinner. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh was also part of the dinner.

Samajwadi Party’s Ramgopal Yadav, BSP’s Satish Mishra, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha’s Babulal Marandi, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh, AIUDF’s Badruddin Ajmal and Communist Party of India’s D Raja were also among those who attended the dinner hosted at 10, Janpath.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “Dinner hosted by Sonia ji for Opposition parties should not be seen from the prism of politics, it was for friendship and better dialogue between parties.”

Sonia had invited DMK working president MK Stalin for dinner, but he had earlier responded that he would not be able to attend as the Assembly session in Tamil Nadu was beginning from March 15.

Sonia had recently called for Opposition unity saying parties should set aside their minor differences to get together in the larger interest of keeping the BJP out of power in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 

“It is difficult for all the parties, including the Congress, because while we can get together at the national level, on some issues we are opponents at the ground level. So, there is a lot of pressure from all the parties, from my party, from the party of another leader. For instance, in West Bengal and many other states, it is a difficult task,” she had on March 9, 2018, said at an event in the national capital.