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Rahul slammed for no-show at Manmohan Singh's farewell dinner
Publication Date : 17-05-2014
The occasion was a farewell dinner for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from the Congress party but it was the no-show by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi that attracted all the attention.
Mr Gandhi has been sharply criticised for not attending Wednesday's gathering at the home of his mother, Sonia.
Dr Singh leaves office tomorrow.
"Rahul Gandhi insulted PM Manmohan Singh by missing the farewell dinner," said Bharatiya Janata Party leader Tarun Vijay yesterday.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh said: "Rahul Gandhi's absence baffles me. He should have matured by now."
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said: "For 10 years you ruled this country, your PM ruled this country; if you could not take out time for his farewell dinner, then how will you take out time for the nation?"
The Congress defended the 43-year-old Gandhi scion: The Congress vice-president and campaign chief was abroad for a short break and would be back in the capital today when the results are due, Congress spokesman Ajay Maken said.
"He had already met the Prime Minister on May 10 to personally thank him for his services and contribution rendered to the nation," Mr Maken told The Indian Express.
But the explanation did not silence critics.
Perhaps the most scathing comment came from the Congress' own ally: "If you knew he was not attending the dinner AND he'd explained his absence to the PM earlier put out the statement BEFORE the news breaks," tweeted Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah of the National Conference regional party, using capital letters for emphasis.
Mr Gandhi snubbed Dr Singh last year by slamming the government's plans to introduce an ordinance that would void a Supreme Court order banning politicians with criminal convictions from Parliament. The outburst caused major embarrassment to the Prime Minister, who was on an official trip to the United States at the time.