In what could be described as “dinner diplomacy,” United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi hosted a dinner for opposition politicos on March 13 in which leaders of 20 parties, including the Congress, attended. Political pundits see the move as an effort by the Congress to put up a broader front against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Despite the meeting bearing a political tone, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala termed it as a meeting for friendship and better dialogue between parties. The prominent leaders in attendance were NCP’s Sharad Pawar, SP’s Ram Gopal Yadav, BSP’s Satish Chandra Misra and former chief ministers Omar Abdullah, Babulal Marandi, Hemant Soren and Jiten Ram Manjhi, besides JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav and RLD’s Ajit Singh. The RJD was represented by Tejashwi Yadav and Misa Bharti.
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. pic.twitter.com/IxaAm7UPoI
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) March 13, 2018
The others present included TMC’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay, CPI’s D Raja and CPM’s Mohammad Salim, DMK’s Kanimozhi, AIUDF’s Baddrauddin Ajmal and leaders of Kerala Congress, besides Kupender Reddy of the JD(S). Senior Congress leaders present during the meeting included Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel, AK Antony and Randeep Surjewala.
Sonia Gandhi had often called for the opposition to unite by setting aside minor differences in order to keep the BJP out of power.
However, the event did not go well with Twitterati and they soon started trolling the party:
एक शेर के डर से गीदड़ों की फौज डिन्नर पर इकठे हो रहे है।सभी प्रधानमंत्री की महत्वाकांक्षा लिए बैठे है एक दूसरे के कट्टर विरोधी विचारधारा वाले है।मेडम की इच्छा शहजादे को PM बनाने की है।शेखचिल्ली के सत्ता के सपने देख रहे है।स्वार्थीओ का जमावड़ा है।
— Pradeep (@pradip7799) March 13, 2018
Sonia gandhi serving opposition leaders one by one at her dinner party 👇😏 pic.twitter.com/dmxwuzbVUW
— शौर्य PRATAP🚩 (@Hindutvapratap) March 13, 2018
Sex ratio in mechanical engineering 😭😂 pic.twitter.com/RdPyWkaF4q
— Mask ishan (@Mr_LoLwa) March 13, 2018
After 2019. ek seat nahi baithne tak ko 😭😂 pic.twitter.com/ITABBifvzK
— Maithun D’souza (@Being_Humor) March 13, 2018
BJP 2020 pic.twitter.com/pVt0nCVjUu
— Angoor Stark 🍇 (@ladywithflaws) March 13, 2018
— Jignesh Mawali (@jigneshmawali) March 13, 2018
— Squirrel_of_Ram🚩 (@Squirrel_Soul) March 13, 2018
All the rotten eggs in one basket. Janta jaye bhad me! pic.twitter.com/rM4bpxWPFc
— Nationalist Monk (@kendentshering) March 14, 2018
गांव की कोठी बेचने से पहले फॉरेन वाली मौसी ने सारे रिश्तेदारों को भोजन पर बुलाया… pic.twitter.com/BdvV5nLMYt
— | nisheeth sharan | (@nisheethsharan) March 13, 2018
Be prepared for
INDIAN GENERAL ELECTION 2019,
for nail-biting contest between
— The Eye Doctor (@sharad91mishra) March 13, 2018
— Scorpian 🦂 (@ijagdishjoshi) March 13, 2018