On a day filled with gripping news like the Lahore attack on Sri Lankan cricketers and speculation over when the new chief election commissioner would be named, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and leader of Opposition L.K. Advani spent 30 minutes together. Both leaders described it as a “courtesy call.”
Mukherjee told the media outside Advani’s residence that “as leader of the House for the last five years, I wanted to meet Advaniji to thank him for his cooperation as Leader of Opposition”.
Similarly, Advani told HT that “Mukherjee wanted to see me. We went down memory lane, sharing a few notes. That’s all. No politics. We are going to face the elections now.”
Their bonhomie was visible in the last session of Lok Sabha when Advani had praised Mukherjee, who besides being external affairs minister is acting finance minister and is standing in for a convalescing PM Manmohan Singh. “Sometimes I think had Pranabji not been there, what would happen to this government,” he’d said. Mukherjee had acknowledged the praise with folded hands.