Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma scotched speculation about his meeting with BJP president JP Nadda on Thursday, saying if he had to, he would do so openly as they both are from Himachal Pradesh and studied at the same university.
Mr Sharma said he had "old social and family ties" with Mr Nadda and "I am proud that someone who comes from my state and university is president of the ruling party." "Ideological differences do not mean personal enmity or apartheid.... If I have to meet JP Nadda, I would do so openly. It is my right. I will not air speculation," he said, when asked about his reported meeting.
Mr Sharma, a former Union minister, said the Himachal Pradesh University Alumni Association had invited him and Mr Nadda to felicitate them.
The Congress leader added he had a discussion with Mr Nadda over phone on attending the meet.
Mr Sharma is a prominent member of the G-23 grouping of Congress leaders who had sought organisational overhaul and been critical of some decisions of the party leadership.
This is not the first time that Mr Sharma is rumoured to have met Mr Nadda.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)