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Rahul Gandhi skips PM's farewell dinner

Rahul Gandhi skips PM
Highlights

Rahul Gandhi Skips PM\'s Farewell Dinner. Absence of Rahul Gandhi at a dinner hosted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi in honour of outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh raised political eyebrows on Wednesday night.

New Delhi: Absence of Rahul Gandhi at a dinner hosted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi in honour of outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh raised political eyebrows on Wednesday night.

PMO sources said that Rahul had met the Prime Minister on Saturday to thank him and told him that he won't be in town today.

There was speculation that Rahul was probably travelling abroad and would be back before counting of votes for the Lok Sabha polls begins on Friday.

When asked why Rahul had not attended the dinner, Union Minister Kamal Nath said that he was not aware of the reason. "I do not know why he did not attend," he said.

Another minister R P N Singh when asked about questions raised over Rahul's absence said, "It is unfortunate that politics is being done over it."

The function at 10, Janpath, Sonia's residence, was held as a mark of gratitude by the party whose coalition government 81-year-old Singh led for 10 long years.

A memento was presented to Singh with signatures of top Congress leaders and Union ministers and Pallam Raju read out the dedication inscribed on it in praise and honour of the prime minister.

Both Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur were presented with bouquets and party leaders were seen scrambling for a photograph with the couple and Sonia Gandhi.

Later, Union minister Rajeev Shukla said that Rahul Gandhi had met the Prime Minister on Saturday and thanked him for his contributions. The Congress vice president had also expressed regret that he would not be able to attend the farewell function as he would be out of town, he added.

But J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, whose party National Conference is an ally of the Congress, felt that a statement should have been put out in advance if Rahul was not to attend the farewell dinner.

"If you knew he (Rahul) was not attending the dinner and he had explained his absence to the PM earlier, put out the statement before the news breaks," Omar tweeted.

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