This is Rahul Gandhi's first Iftar party after taking charge as the Congress chief
Congress President Rahul Gandhi today hosted an Iftar party in the evening which a host of politicians from the opposition attended. The guest list included former vice-president Md Hamid Ansari and former president Pratibha Patil. Former President Pranab Mukherjee also attended the Iftar party
after reports surfaced that he was not invited.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had clarified that the Congress had invited Mr Mukherjee
and he has "graciously accepted" it.
For Rahul Gandhi, this was the first occasion to host an Iftar party after he took charge of the Congress. The party did not hold Iftar party, which marks the customary breaking of the day-long fast in the holy month of Ramzaan, during the past two years and its last Iftar was in 2015.
Here are the Highlights of Rahul Gandhi's Iftar Party:
Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor was also present at the party. Mr Gandhi tweeted a few more pictures from the party:
Rahul Gandhi tweeted after the party thanking everyone for attending it and called the Iftar party memorable.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who also held an Iftar party, took a jibe at the Congress by saying the Congress hosts Iftar parties for "political engineering". He called his Iftar event a part of "social engineering" to give the dignity the minority community.
A notable absentee from the Iftar party was the Aam Aadmi Party, with which the Congress is at loggerheads in Delhi.
A number of foreign dignitaries also attended the Iftar party. Take a look at some pictures:
Congress has been tweeting many pictures from the Iftar party. A few of them are here:
The Congress also tweeted a video of the Iftar party where Rahul Gandhi is seen with Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil. They are seen talking and having dinner. Watch the video here:
Congress tweeted pictures from the party:
Congress President Rahul Gandhi's Iftar party saw Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay R Kudashev in attendance:
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also attended the party. Other leaders including rebel Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav, Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, Janata Dal-Secular leader Danish Ali, Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi and Bahujan Samaj Party's Satish Chandra Mishra were also present.
Nationalist Congress Party leader D.P. Tripathi, DMK's Kanimozhi, Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha, and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's Hemant Soren were the other opposition leaders who were present along with Congress leaders P. Chidambaram and A.K. Antony.
Hamid Ansari, Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee are seen with Rahul Gandhi in pictures at the Iftar party:
Pratibha Patil, Hamid Ansari and Pranab Mukherjee have arrived at the Iftar Party.
The function will be held at the Taj Palace Hotel.
Randeep Surjewala had tweeted clarifying that Pranab Mukherjee is going to attend the Iftar party. Take a look at his tweets here:
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.
Sources said leaders of all like-minded non-BJP parties, which have been holding parleys on key issues, have been invited for the event.
Sources said Telangana Chief Minister and TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal have not been invited for the event.
The party conventionally invites leaders of all faiths to the event as also top diplomats. This year's Iftar party will be keenly watched for the presence of opposition leaders at a time when the Congress is positioning itself as the centre of opposition unity ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The party's decision to resume Iftar comes days after President Ram Nath Kovind decided to discontinue the feast traditionally held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Prior to 2016, the Congress used to host Iftar in one way or the other. When the party was in power, the then prime minister Manmohan Singh used to organise the event.
The last Iftar party of 2015 was hosted by Rahul Gandhi's mother and former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi has invited a host of opposition and senior party leaders to the Iftar party, the first ever to be hosted by him as Congress chief. Senior Congress and opposition party leaders are likely to attend the Iftar party at a local luxury hotel, according to sources.