Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday hosted a dinner for all members of parliament, which did not see the presence of prominent leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav.MPs from the Trinamool Congress, left parties like the CPI(M) and CPI, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the RJD abstained from the dinner.
The Parliamentary Affairs Ministry had earlier sent out invites to all members of both the Houses -- over 750 MPs. Only vegetarian dishes were served at the official dinner held at a state-run five-star hotel.Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, various leaders of the ruling NDA, DMK's Kanimozhi, AAP Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh and three of four TDP Rajya Sabha members who joined the BJP -- Y S Chowdary, C M Ramesh and T G Venkatesh -- among others attended the dinner at hotel Ashok.
Sources said the dinner was hosted so that the prime minister and other members of the Union council of ministers could meet all MPs 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 prime minister reportedly lauded the role played by previous Speaker Sumitra Mahajan at the gathering, the source said.During the all-party meet on Sunday, ahead of the start of the Parliament session, Modi had told leaders that political differences can be kept aside to discuss issues related to public interest.