Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hosted a dinner for members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha at a state-run five-star hotel in Delhi. Over 750 lawmakers had been invited to the event by the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, however, Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party skipped the dinner.
The dinner was hosted at Hotel Ashok and was attended by a number of leaders including Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, DMK's Kanimozhi and Aam Aadmi Party's Sanjay Singh. Three Telugu Desam Party leaders who joined the BJP today also attended the dinner.
Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders did not attend the dinner to protest against the deaths of children in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), party leader Misa Bharti said. The deadly disease has claimed the lives of 118 children in the north Bihar town.
Misa Bharti told news agency ANI that the amount spent in organising the dinner could be used for the treatment of the children.
"Medicines and live equipment can be procured from the amount that is being spent in organising this dinner," she said.
Sources told news agency PTI that the dinner was hosted so that the prime minister and other members of the union council of ministers could meet all lawmakers from both the houses in an informal atmosphere.
"The MPs interacted with the prime minister in a very informal manner and they were seen clicking selfies with him," BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, adding that the atmosphere was very congenial.
The dinner is the first time that PM Modi will be meeting the lawmakers after he came to power for a second term.
With inputs from agencies