Sonia Gandhi hosted 17 opposition leaders for dinner last night

Rahul Gandhi

"Congratulations to the winners of today's by-elections". It could not be taken up amid objections raised by opposition parties who have written to Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan requesting her intervention.

"This dinner is for harmony and friendship".

The Biju Janata Dal, the Aam Aadmi Party led by Delgi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi who was once a part of the UPA, the AIADMK, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the YSR Congress Party and the Shiv Sena were also not invited to the dinner.

Opposition leaders on Wednesday advocated, with renewed vigour, for a grand alliance to defeat the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections after it was crushed in the by-polls to three Lok Sabha seats, especially in Uttar Pradesh where an alliance of arch rivals SP and BSP sealed the BJPs fate. Leaders of 20 parties joined the dinner at her residence in Delhi.

According to The Quint, prominent members of the Congress including party president Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and A.K. Antony were seen in conversation with leaders from other opposition parties during the dinner. In the third seat, Araria, Lalu Prasad's RJD is leading by 86,000 votes.

"This dinner hosted by Mrs Sonia Gandhi for opposition parties should not be seen from the prism of politics".

Congress spokesperson Jyotiraditya Scindia said the results of the by-polls clearly indicated that across the country, people had spoken out against the "anti-farmer" rule of the Central government.

Trump sacks Tillerson as secretary of state
US President Donald Trump has sacked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, replacing him with the director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly.

Referring to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) pulling out of the Modi government, Tejashwi said that Opposition parties were getting together while the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was "breaking apart".

Speaking at the popular "Aap Ki Adalat" television programme hosted by India TV journalist Rajat Sharma here, he also claimed that Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi will migrate to some other safer seats out of fear of losing their traditional constituencies of Amethi and Rae Bareli.

"Much political talk but much more important - tremendous positive energy, warmth and genuine affection", he wrote, and tagged a group photo of the attendees.

Leaders who attended the dinner said there was no structured discussion but only informal chats about politics on different tables involving leaders across party lines.

Sonia Gandhi's dinner diplomacy was reminiscent of the lunch she had hosted for Opposition leaders on February 5, 2004, after the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had cut short the duration of that Lok Sabha and had announced early elections.

The SP-BSP alliance has consolidated its lead in Gorakhpur Lok Sabha bypoll and is ahead by over 26,000 votes.

Related News:

  • Slovenian employers report cautiously optimistic hiring plans for Q2 - Manpower

    Slovenian employers report cautiously optimistic hiring plans for Q2 - Manpower

    Meanwhile, the outlook of -1% for the electricity, gas and water sector reflects uncertain hiring prospects. The weakest hiring plans are reported in Mining, Government Information and Nondurable Goods Manufacturing.
    Shoe Hurled at Pakistan ex-PM Nawaz Sharif at an Event

    Shoe Hurled at Pakistan ex-PM Nawaz Sharif at an Event

    PML-N leader and Railway Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique said those afraid of popularity of PML-N are behind such incidents. The post of party president was left vacant last month after Nawaz was removed from the position by the apex court.
    Oil prices fall, while demand for US Treasuries stays strong

    Oil prices fall, while demand for US Treasuries stays strong

    At 0640 GMT, May WTI crude oil is trading $61.86, down $0.06 or -0.10% and June Brent crude oil is at $65.35, up $0.08 or +0.12%. Crude prices rose on Friday after the US economy added the biggest number of jobs in more than 1-1/2 years in February.
  • Apple's WWDC Set for June

    Apple's WWDC Set for June

    The specifics of updates to either platform aren't known at the moment, but we'll find out more when Apple tells all this May. While iPhone and Mac may be the most focused-on platforms, that's not to say WWDC will concern itself exclusively with them.
    Grammy Award victor  Craig Mack dies at age 46

    Grammy Award victor Craig Mack dies at age 46

    He was like, 'You know what I'm gonna trade you a record deal if you get down on Mary J.'s ["You Don't Have To Worry (Remix)"]. The rapper died on Monday, March 12 of heart failure at a hospital near his home in SC , reported the New York Daily News .
    Trump replaces Tillerson with Pompeo in dramatic shakeup

    Trump replaces Tillerson with Pompeo in dramatic shakeup

    Mr Tillerson continued to insist his relationship with the president was solid and brushed off rumours of strain between them. Tillerson's nomination as head of the State Department passed a Senate panel by a 11-10 party line vote January 23.
  • ICE Spokesman Resigns Over Trump Administration's 'Misleading' Statements on Raid

    ICE Spokesman Resigns Over Trump Administration's 'Misleading' Statements on Raid

    But Lori Haley, the western region communications director for ICE on Monday, told KTVU that Schwab had resigned "abruptly". Schwab, however, said that both the number of potential arrests and the blame heaped on Schaaf by officials was wrong.
    Djokovic loses in Indian Wells to 25-year-old Japanese

    Djokovic loses in Indian Wells to 25-year-old Japanese

    Just 16 and still subject to playing restrictions, she had not won a match on the WTA Tour before arriving in Indian Wells . Chardy has played eight sets already this tournament and has been very shaky with his second serve recently.
    Packers to release Jordy Nelson

    Packers to release Jordy Nelson

    However, Aaron Rodgers and offensive tackle David Bakhtiari might very well have sent a cryptic message out Tuesday via Twitter. The decision to cut Nelson, 32, creates $10.2million in cap space for the Packers and leaves just $2.3m in dead money.
  • Aamir Khan SMOOCHES Kiran Rao and celebrates his birthday (see pics)

    Aamir Khan SMOOCHES Kiran Rao and celebrates his birthday (see pics)

    After giving his fans a scare over his health, superstar Amitabh Bachchan took to his blog to clarify that he is faring well. Aamir started off as a child actor at an age of eight in Yaadon Ki Baraat and now the actor is holding the title of Mr.
    Keenum-to-Broncos, other moves making draft more interesting — National Football League  free agency

    Keenum-to-Broncos, other moves making draft more interesting — National Football League free agency

    Lost amid all the free-agent hype Monday was the Bills taking a page from the Howie Roseman book of roster reconstruction. Cousins' numbers in six seasons in Washington , the past three as a starter, are as good as those of young Drew Brees.
    Gang member shot dead in court after he rushes witness stand

    Gang member shot dead in court after he rushes witness stand

    As US District Judge Tena Campbell was escorted out of the courtroom, someone called 911 at the end of the released video. Faces of nearly all the people present inside the courtroom at the time, including the judge is blurred in the video.


Most liked

Toyota partners with Canadian Paralympic team
It is New Zealand's second medal following Corey Peters' bronze on Saturday in the Men's Downhill Sitting event. Canada will play either the United States or South Korea in a cross-over semifinal on Thursday.

Roger Federer rolls into fourth round at Indian Wells
Krajinovic had no answer for Federer's serve or relentless return game and ended up winning just 31 of the match's 93 points. Kevin Anderson beat Nicholas Kicker 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3) while Tomas Berdych was defeated in straight sets by Chung Hyeon.

Saudi royals tackling corruption, or just cashing in on foes?
The government says all of them were guilty of plundering state funds, which have now been returned to state coffers. Until 2014, oil income made up more than 90% of public revenues in Saudi Arabia.

VW to expand production in electric auto offensive
VW CEO Matthias Müeller told journalists Tuesday in Berlin that 30 electric cars will be launched by 2025 , according to Autocar . VW has also confirmed that it will add more electrified vehicles to its portfolio this year.

Trump's move to stall Broadcom bid for Qualcomm questioned
To give an idea of Huawei's rising clout, the tech company past year posted sales of 600 billion yuan ($95 billion). No takeover discussions had been initiated and this is not one of the most likely outcomes, said the same sources.

Mourinho names Premier League's worst manager ever
Here, we take a look at some of the factors that may influence whether Mourinho gives the young forward more opportunities. I said that before the Liverpool match when many of you were maybe not expecting him to start.

Butler Agrees to deal with Titans
At that point, no one knew if Butler would remain a flash-in-the-pan Super Bowl hero or make something of himself. The 28-year-old defensive back should have no problem taking over as the Titans' new number-one corner.

Buy Star Wars: The Last Jedi (with bonus content) on Amazon
Hamill came out in the last half hour or so of the SXSW session saying, "This is just a cameo at the end, which I'm very good at". He added, "It's the closest thing we'll get to a sex scene in a " Star Wars " movie".

Kenyan opposition suspends plans to oust president
Kenya's president and opposition leader have promised to begin a process of reconciliation following last year's bitterly contested election.

National Football League free agency rumors: TE Trey Burton to sign with Bears
The Eagles were widely expected to lose Burton, who racked up 23 catches for 248 yards and five touchdowns in the regular season. The Bears will sign the former Philadelphia Eagle to a four-year, $32 million deal once the league year officially opens.

Nine trekkers killed in India forest fire
It said it had 40,000-odd members and that all its activities were "free (and) expenses (were) shared equally among participants". The Indian Air Force provided 16 commandos of the Garud Commando Force and three helicopters that have been in action all day.

Charter bus carrying students from Texas plunges into Alabama ravine
The extent of the injuries is not known, but the Baldwin County Coroner's Office told CNN it is responding to the scene. Baldwin County commissioner Christ Elliott said first responders "are having to rappel down" to access the crash site.

Russian exile who was ally of Putin critic found dead in London
Glushkov, a close ally of Berezovsky, was twice charged with fraud in Russian Federation . [But] I don't believe it was suicide. Russian Federation reportedly dismissed the British claims as a "circus show", a "provocation" and "nonsense". "Mr.

YouTube Adds Dark Theme to iOS, Android Apps
If any app actually needed a dark mode, it might be the YouTube app, which can be blindingly bright in a dark room. According to Google , a dark mode was one of the most requested features for its mobile apps.

UN Finds Facebook Partly to Blame for Fueling Myanmar Genocide
About 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since Myanmar's military launched an operation in August against "insurgents" in Rakhine state.