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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Sonia congratulates Modi, but will she make it on Monday?

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 22, 2014
First Published: 19:44 IST(22/5/2014) | Last Updated: 10:58 IST(23/5/2014)

As all Members of Parliament are set to be invited for the oath-taking ceremony of Narendra Modi on Monday, all eyes are on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi if they will turn up for the event.

Sonia and Rahul had come under fire from BJP leaders for not picking up the phone to congratulate its prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi after he led the BJP to a grand victory.

On the counting day, Gandhi and her son, Congress VP Rahul had congratulated the “new government” but carefully avoided any direct mention of Modi’s name. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, however, congratulated Modi as results poured in his favour.

Sources said Sonia finally sent him a congratulatory letter after President Pranab Mukherjee appointed him as the PM on May 20.

Congress leaders said only Sonia and Rahul would be able to tell if both of them would turn up at Modi’s swearing-in. “But the Congress party will definitely be represented,” a leader said.

In the election campaign, both Modi and the Gandhis entered into a slanging match where Modi took regular dig at “Maa bete ki sarkar” and Rahul slamming Gujarat model.

In 2004, when the UPA defeated the NDA, two top BJP leaders—outgoing Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and his deputy LK Advani—attended the swearing in ceremony of the new government. In 2009, Advani came for the function while Vajpayee skipped due to ill health.

According to sources, Head of the state of Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal and Maldives and the King of Bhutan has confirmed their participation for the swearing-in ceremony.

A large number of blank visiting cards have also been sent to BJP to invite guests of their choice including Chief ministers.


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