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Rahul Gandhi’s iftar: Pranab Mukherjee attends, opposition present in strength

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Rahul Gandhi's iftar: Pranab Mukherjee attends, opposition present in strength

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Rahul Gandhis first iftar party after becoming Congress president, also the first by a Congress chief since 2015 when Sonia Gandhi hosted it, was a keenly watched event.

There were two main reasons. One was the presence of former President Pranab Mukherjee whose going to RSS function in Nagpur had upset many Congress leaders. The other was the attendance of opposition party leaders in the context of the moves for cobbling up a united anti-BJP front.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee cornered most of the attention, with much speculation about his attendance due to hyper-active imagination by some about his supposed proximity to RSS-BJP after the Nagpur event. The Congress’ official statement said Mukherjee, with his address, reminded the BJP and its ideological mentor about “India’s pluralism, tolerance, secularism and inclusiveness” but a section still questioned Mukherjee’s decision.

However, Mukherjee came, walking in with folded hands, chaperoned by Rahul and they settled on a table, shared by former President Pratibha Patil, Yechury and TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi. The easy, friendly chat between Mukherjee and Gandhi could ease the flutter in many Congress hearts, as TOI reported.

A guest gifted a skull cap to the Congress president. Rahul wore it, was photographed and removed it after moments. While iftar, though a Congress institution, presented a contrast with Rahul’s recent temple run, he has always said he visits temples, mosques, gurudwaras and church, wherever he is invited.

The iftar at Delhi’s Taj Palace Hotel, organized by the Congress after two years, was attended by CPM’s Sitaram Yechury, DMK’s Kanimozhi, RJD’s Manoj Jha and Sharad Yadav. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sent Dinesh Trivedi as her representative, and Mayawati sent Satish Chandra Mishra. Danish Ali, leader of Karnataka’s Janata Dal Secular, was also present. So were former President Pratibha Patil and former Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s Hemant Soren, Janata Dal (Secular) leader Danish Ali, All India United Democratic Front chief Badruddin Ajmal and a lawmaker from the Indian Union Muslim League were among the others who attended the iftar along with several top diplomats.

Former JNU student leader and firebrand critic of PM Narendra Modi Shehla Rashid was also spotted.

It also saw large-scale participation by representatives of the Muslim community.

The Samajwadi Party was conspicuous by absence despite an invitation to its chief Akhilesh Yadav and senior party leader Ramgopal Yadav. National Conference too was not seen.

Also conspicuous by its absence was the Aam Aadmi Party, with which the Congress is at loggerheads in Delhi. The big opposition get together is the first since Janata Dal Secular chief HD Kumaraswamy’s oath in Bengaluru earlier this month. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had attended that meeting.

Missing at the iftar was Sonia Gandhi, who is still abroad for medical check-up and is likely to return on Saturday.

Among diplomats, except Pakistan High Commissioner, almost all diplomats of Muslim countries were present. Talking about not inviting any Pakistani diplomat, a Congress leader said a picture of Rahul Gandhi shaking hands with Pak High Commissioner at this moment would not have been politically correct and media would have focused entirely on it.

This was the second such gathering of the Opposition forces after United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s dinner in March this year. According to observers, Gandhi referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new fitness video posted on Twitter and asked if others had seen it. He then quipped: “I found it bizarre. It’s bizarre.”

He then asked Yechury to put out his fitness video to match Modi’s. And Rahul, admittedly way younger than PM Modi, is himself a fitness enthusiast with training in martial arts as well.

With politicians at the iftar party, it was a political get together marked by political talk. Yechury reportedly told BSP’s SC Mishra how the Left parties were protesting against cases of atrocities against Dalits and Muslims. He also told him that the BSP, Samajwadi Party and Congress must have a state-level pact for the 2019 polls. Mishra and Yechury maintained that a pre-poll nationwide alliance was not feasible.

“The larger message is that almost all Opposition parties came for the iftar and interacted with each other. This unity is our message to the Dalits and the minorities,” said a senior Opposition leader who sat at the same table with Gandhi.

A Muslim leader of the Opposition said: “At a time when the BJP has abandoned the culture and practice of iftar in Delhi, this is a good signal to the community.”

Rahul later tweeted, “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.”[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text]The BJP took jibes at the Congress for hosting the iftar. “We talk about development and dignity… The Congress’s iftar is for political engineering. No one has ever tried to organise an iftar for social engineering. We have done it, especially when we are talking about Muslim women, triple talaq and other issues related to their empowerment,” minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, comparing his iftar with the one held by the Congress.

Congress leaders said that the success of Gandhi’s iftar should not be measured top leaders staying away, after all the whole Iftar was planned at short notice, less than a week. “Karnataka CM Kumarswamy could not make it, as he is holding one in Bengaluru,” said JD(U) leader Danish Ali, according to a report in DNA.

The iftar almost didn’t happen, according to the DNA report. It was the Congress veterans, who reportedly convinced Gandhi for holding the Iftar Party, said the report.

The event was significant not just because it was projected as an outreach to the Muslim community by the party but also because it was the first such formal opposition meet being hosted by Gandhi.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

PM Modi calls for a strong government, says even enemies think 100 times before doing anything

PM Modi pointed out that Pakistan had been troubling India for 70 years and it had bombs in its hands. But today the situation has changed and it has begging bowl in its hands. He said when there is a strong government, enemies tremble

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PM Modi calls for a strong government, says even enemies think 100 times before doing anything

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an election rally in Haryana’s Ambala on Saturday and said India’s enemies think 100 times before doing anything against the country when there is a strong government at the Centre. Haryana, which has a total of 10 Lok Sabha seats, will vote in the 6th phase on May 25. In 2019 elections BJP claimed victory in all 10 seats.

PM Modi pointed out that Pakistan had been troubling India for 70 years and it had bombs in its hands. But today the situation has changed and it has begging bowl in its hands. He said when there is a strong government, enemies tremble. Addressing the election rally at Ambala the prime minister asked if a weak government could have changed the situation in Jammu & Kashmir? He recalled the times when there was a Congress government and brave mothers of Haryana used to be worried day and night. He said it has been 10 years now and all of that has stopped.

PM Modi recounted BJP government’s achievements and said they had demolished the wall of Article 370 and Kashmir started moving on the path of development. The prime minister said that a total of 17 days remain to go for 4th June.  He further added that until now in 4 phases of elections, Congress and the INDI Alliance, chaaron khaane chitt ho chuke hain. He said whatever tactics the INDI Alliance used for the country have all been beaten by the public itself.

Addressing the election rally PM Modi said Haryana is a state which has patriotism in its veins and knows anti-national forces very well. The prime minister guaranteed to the people that their dreams are his resolution. PM Modi said there are 4 pillars of Viksit Bharat – poor, youth, women and farmers and he wants to strengthen all these pillars in such a way that the nation becomes strong.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Mallikarjun Kharge accuses PM Modi of inciting people and dividing society through his election speeches

Kharge said no prime minister before Modi has ever indulged in inciting people like he has been doing. He said the prime minister speaks about democracy repeatedly but does not adhere to the tenets of democracy.

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Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inciting people and dividing society through his election speeches. Kharge was addressing a press conference of the INDIA bloc, where Shiv Sena (UBT) president, Uddhav Thackeray NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar and other leaders were present.

Kharge said no prime minister before Modi has ever indulged in inciting people like he has been doing. He said the prime minister speaks about democracy repeatedly but does not adhere to the tenets of democracy. Responding to PM Modi’s statement that the Congress will bulldoze the Ram mandir in Ayodhya and also restore Article 370 if the INDIA bloc is voted to power Kharge said, they have never used a bulldozer on anyone. The Congress president said PM Modi has the habit of lying and inciting people about things which Congress will never do or the things that are impossible to be implemented.

Kharge further added that he is not answerable to Modi and the Congress will implement what they have promised in their election manifesto. He accused PM Modi of creating divisions wherever he went he tries to create division, speaks of dividing society. Kharge further added that PM Modi had described the Congress manifesto as Muslim League manifesto, but now he is calling it as a Maoist manifesto.

The Congress President assured that reservation has been enshrined in the Constitution which will continue and nobody can touch it. Speaking at the press conference Thackeray said, Achche din are coming from June 4 (when Lok Sabha election results will be declared) when INDIA bloc-led government will come to power at the centre. Thackeray pointed out PM Modi calls Shiv Sena (UBT) as the nakli (fake) Shiv Sena, and there is a possibility that tomorrow he may call RSS as nakli Sangh.  

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Latest Politics News

PM Modi takes a dig at SP, Congress, asks them to take lessons from Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath

PM Modi said that the Congress is also planning to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision on Ram Temple.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday claimed that the Congress and the Samajwadi Party will run bulldozers and demolish the Ram Temple if voted to power. Taking a dig at these aforesaid parties, the Prime Minister suggested them to take lessons from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the appropriate utilization of bulldozers.

Addressing an election rally at Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki, PM Narendra Modi claimed that a senior Samajwadi Party leader had said on the day of Ram Navami that Ram Temple is useless. He further said that the Congress is also planning to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision on Ram Temple. He said that if Congress-Samajwadi Party comes to power, they will send Ram Lalla back to the tent. 

Recently, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav triggered controversy by terming the Ram Temple as useless due to perceived inadequate construction. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has criticized the remarks, and pointed out this to be the reality of the INDIA bloc.  

Speaking in the Hindi heartland, the Prime Minister mentioned that SP-Congress have surrendered to the appeasement, and when he is speaking truth, the parties are blaming him for creating Hindu-Muslim divide. He further referred to SP Leader Akhilesh Yadav as a socialist prince who has taken shelter under a new aunt from Bengal, apparently referring to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banejee. 

The Prime Minister stated the vote bank the opposition people run after has also started understanding the truth now. He expressed that mothers and sisters of the country are happy with the laws on triple talaq are continuously blessing his government. 

During the election rally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi exuded confidence that the BJP will retain their power for the third term in a row. PM Modi said that the Modi government would score a hat-trick. He also promised to work for the welfare of the poor, youth, women, and farmers during his third term, and sought blessings of the people.

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