Dinner and more at Sonia Gandhi’s homeFebruary 18th, 2009 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) Mutton curry and pulao were on the menu but political strategies were very much the flavour of the evening as Congress president Sonia Gandhi gathered party MPs together at her residence in the run up to the general elections about two months away.
Sonia Gandhi played the host Tuesday night for party MPs from all over the country, in the city for the ongoing budget session of parliament, who got an opportunity to interact with the party leadership without an appointment.
Labelling it a non-political dinner, Minister of State for Home Affairs Shakeel Ahmad said: “MPs from far off places got an opportunity to discuss and share their views with Soniaji and Rahul (Gandhi) who were moving and meeting the party representatives playing the perfect host.”
“Representatives from different states discussed their problems with the party president. They also discussed the campaign plans for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections,” Ahmad told IANS.
The MPs savoured the spread of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, while they mingled and interacted freely with the party seniors.
“I enjoyed the mutton curry and rice pulao most,” Ahmad said.
Party MP from Uttar Pradesh Rajesh Kumar Mishra said he was very pleased to meet general secretary and Sonia Gandhi’s son Rahul: “It was a great opportunity to speak freely with him.”
The Lok Sabha MP from Varanasi added: “We discussed various things, including the upcoming elections and campaign ideas in Uttar Pradesh.”
Not all were as fortunate.
“I could not speak personally to either Soniaji or Rahulji, but I met many other senior leaders,” said Venkatesh A. Naik, MP from Raichur in Karnataka.
Up for discussion were electoral prospects of the party, the campaign and alliance possibilities, he said.
Besides party MPs, functionaries of the All India Congress Committee, senior cabinet ministers and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot were amongst those who attended the dinner.