In a rare gesture, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday walked up to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in Lok Sabha and sat next to him for a brief conversation.
Those present in the House were stunned to see the sight, considering that Gandhi usually keeps to herself, and leaders of other parties are the ones who approach her for discussions.
She wished Yadav with a “namaste” and left saying “shukriya (thank you)”.
Soon, members were seen whispering in each other’s ears — wondering what transpired during the chat.
While Yadav himself was tightlipped about the exchange, sources close to him said Gandhi asked the SP chief to ensure better electricity supply to Rae Bareli, her Lok Sabha constituency, and Amethi, represented by her son, Rahul Gandhi.
Sources said she even had a word of praise for Yadav, telling him that the power situation in Uttar Pradesh was better during his tenure as the chief minister.
With leader of the House Sushil Kumat Shinde slowly settling into his new role, a usually reticent Gandhi has been quite proactive in the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament, leading the treasury benches from the front. She displayed aggression while forcing BJP leader LK Advani to retract his “illegitimate UPA-II” remarks, and is now often seen egging on UPA members to counter the BJP’s onslaught in the House.
As BJP members stalled Parliament for the sixth straight day on Tuesday, Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad approached Gandhi. Azad later walked out the house along with Gandhi, giving rise to a buzz that he was preparing to cross sides.
Congress sources later said Azad, who is having problems with his own party, had a 15-minute meeting with Gandhi. Azad, however, denied any political move on his part.