Five days since former President Pranab Mukherjee addressed an RSS event in Nagpur, the Congress appears unable to come to terms with its veteran leader’s attendance at the right-wing’s headquarters in Nagpur. The Congress party has not invited Pranab – once considered the party’s troubleshooter — to its June 13 iftar party, reports Aaj Tak. According to the report, the decision is a bid by the Congress to register its anger over Mukherjee’s decision to attend the graduation ceremony of the RSS on June 7.
Several senior Congress leaders, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s political adviser Ahmed Patel, had last week publicly spoken out against Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to attend the RSS event. Patel had said in a tweet that ‘it was not expected from Pranab da’, triggering speculations that it was actually Sonia Gandhi’s message to the former President.
Interestingly, the Congress party’s guests list for the June 13 gathering also has no mention of former Vice-President Hamid Ansari. Ansari had served as the Vice President between 2007 and 2017.
Reports say that the party has also refrained from extending an invitation to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal whose Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is exploring an opportunity to enter into a pre-poll alliance with the grand old party in Delhi for next year’s general elections. Delhi is a Union Territory and sends 7 MPs to the Lok Sabha. At presents, all seats are held by the BJP.
Notably, no Congress leader had attended the Delhi Chief Minister’s iftar party which he hosted on June 5 in the lawns of Palika Services Officers’ Institute in Chanakyapuri. Besides, bureaucrats also remained absent from the Iftar party hosted by Kejriwal.
Meanwhile, the Congress has invited all the constituents of the UPA for the Iftar party. All parties that were invited to Sonia Gandhi’s dinner a few weeks ago have been asked to attend the June 13 event or send their representatives.
The June 13 iftar is being organised by the All Indian Minority Congress — the minority wing of the Congress.