Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party’s chief campaigner in the national election, is being sharply criticised for skipping his mother Sonia Gandhi’s farewell dinner for prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday.
Several Congress leaders Thursday tried to defend Gandhi saying he had met the prime minister before flying out of town.
‘Rahul Gandhi met the PM before going abroad, there is no question of an insult,’ said the party’s Satyavrat Chaturvedi, reports NDTV.
But the murmurs that began at the farewell dinner have turned into a torrent of condemnation.
‘The whole country knows how the Congress has treated Manmohan Singh. A PM for 10 years, when relinquishing his office, deserves a befitting farewell. Rahul Gandhi should have been there,’ said the BJP’s Captain Abhimanyu Singh.
Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal alleged, ‘Rahul Gandhi has insulted the PM. He thought of himself, above the country’.
Aam Aadmi Party’s Ashutosh said, ‘Rahul Gandhi’s absence baffles me, he should’ve matured by now after leading the election campaign’.
On Wednesday at Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s 10, Janpath home, top party leaders presented a signed memento to Dr Singh, 81.
As the evening progressed, news that the 43-year-old Gandhi is ‘out of station’ stunned not just journalists, but even many Congress leaders, especially as election results are to be announced on Friday.
Gandhi’s office issued a statement, ‘Rahul Gandhi met the PM on Saturday to say that he won’t be in town. He thanked him already’.