In wake of reports that former President Pranab Mukherjee was not invited for the Iftar party to be hosted by Congress President Rahul Gandhi on June 13, the party clarified that an invite was extended to him and he has accepted it.
“Multiple media houses have raised questions on Iftaar invite to @CitiznMukherjee on behalf of Congress President.
“Congress President has extended an invite to Pranab Mukherjee and he has graciously accepted. Hope this will set to rest unwarranted speculation,” tweeted Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
“To set the record straight, may I point out that Pranab dada had attended the last Iftar get together organised by then Congress President Sonia Gandhi too. Bereft of unwarranted issues, let compassion and friendship for all guide us in the holy month of Ramadan.”
The Iftar, coming at a time when the opposition is aiming for an anti-BJP alliance ahead of the 2019 general elections, is expected to see a host of leaders from all opposition parties and of all faiths.
Among the leaders of the opposition parties expected to be present at the Iftar party are Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sharad Yadav, Sharad Pawar, Sitaram Yechury, Tejashwi Yadav and others. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu has also been invited, a source said.
The party is hosting an Iftar party here after a gap of two years, and it will be the first for Rahul Gandhi after taking over as Congress chief.
The function will be held at the Taj Palace Hotel. The party’s last Iftar was hosted by then Congress President Sonia Gandhi in 2015.
The Congress move comes a few days after the Rashtrapati Bhavan decided not to host an Iftar this year, with President Ram Nath Kovind stating that there should no religious observance at taxpayer’s expense at the public building.