New Delhi: The Congress party came up with a late night clarification: It went out of the way to deny that it has not invited former President Pranab Mukherjee for the Iftar party to be hosted by Congress President Rahul Gandhi on June 13. The party was constrained to clarify after multiple media houses indicated that Pranab had been dropped as an invitee to the official Congress Iftar party.
Earlier in the day, the buzz was that the ‘First Citizen’ is indeed missing in the invitee list for the get-together scheduled for this week. One reason, it was speculated, could be that this is a ‘political’ Iftar where the invitees include all those who were called for Sonia Gandhi’s grand dinner earlier this year. That dinner, incidentally, was the first attempt by the Congress to cobble together a ‘grand alliance’ to take on the BJP. Media houses felt that a dead give-away of the Congress designs was also that Arivnd Kejriwal or his Aam Aadmi Party too did not figure on the list of the invitees.
However, it seems the Congress has overcome its annoyance with Pranab for allowing himself to be appropriated by the RSS. Pranab, too, had made belated amends by giving homilies to the RSS on tolerance; so, as far as the top Congress leadership is concerned, he is back in the reckoning. However, it was still not clear whether the clarification came as an afterthought. Pranab, reportedly, has accepted the invite. He can now hobnob to his heart’s content at the Iftar party with Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sharad Yadav, Sharad Pawar, Sitaram Yechury, Tejashwi Yadav and others.