The background to this gesture was laid out after US President Barack Obama's address to both Houses of Parliament on Monday. After Obama departed, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, LK Advani and his daughter Pratibha Advani found themselves locked inside Parliament as the main exits had been barred for the safe passage of the US President. During this while Advani invited both Sonia and Rahul to wait in his office which was closest to where they were standing.
Over tea, Rahul and Advani discussed the latter's proposal that simultaneous elections be held for Parliament and state legislatures and as the conversation progressed, Pratibha Advani revealed that it was her father's brithday that day and that a special programme had been arranged for Tuesday as celebration. Both the Gandhi's were invited for the same.
While former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has always been popular with Congressmen, Advani has had a frought relationship with them.
This gesture a surprise to many may ease the bitterness somewhat.