New Delhi: Cracks surfaced in the Opposition’s attempt at unity as Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar on Friday skipped the lunch hosted by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, but is expected to fly in to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
Citing prior engagements for his inability to attend, Mr Yadav sent senior party leader Sharad Yadav to represent the party.
Conspicuous by their absence were also the Aam Aadmi Party and Naveen Patnaik’s BJD. Sources said that the two parties had not been invited by the Congress as they were its rivals in their respective states of Delhi and Odisha.
A total of 17 parties met for the luncheon meet hosted by Mrs Gandhi, which was apparently a show of strength on the third anniversary of the Modi government. Altogether, these 17 parties add up to 120 Lok Sabha MPs, as opposed to the BJP's 282.
Mr Kumar’s decision to skip Mrs Gandhi’s lunch, but attend the lunch being hosted by Mr Modi in honour of the Prime Minister of Mauritius has given rise to speculation that he could possibly be looking at the option of dumping RJD and returning to his old ally — BJP.
Mr Kumar dismissed these “misinterpretations” and said that he could not attend the Mrs Gandhi’s lunch due to prior official engagements, while adding that Bihar had an old connection with Mauritius....