Tremendous positive energy, warmth & genuine affection at Sonia Gandhi dinner: Rahul

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"This is something we have seen when Mrs Gandhi (Sonia Gandhi) reached out to parties with common ideology to work together in the interest of the country and take it forward", said R.P.N. Singh, Congress leader from U.P., indicating that Ms. Gandhi's dinner diplomacy on Tuesday to bring together 19 Opposition parties could be the first step in forging an anti-BJP alliance.

The congress leaders who attended the meeting include former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, opposition leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and another senior leader Randeep Singh Surjewala.

New Delhi:Sonia Gandhi Congress functionary will host a dinner for opposition.

Lalu's son and Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav is also likely to attend.

He said people had also testified against the BJP government's "anti-youth policies", "anti-women rule" and "unemployment that is rampant". "The next general elections are just a year away and we need to form alliances with like-minded parties wherever it suits our electoral prospects", a senior Rajya Sabha leader from the Congress said, requesting anonymity.

Sharad Yadav of the Bharatiya Tribal Party, Mohammad Salim of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), D Raja of the Communist Party of India, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's Hemant Soren, All India United Democratic Front's Badruddin Ajmal, Kerala Congress (Mani) leader Jose K Mani, D Kupendra Reddy from the Janata Dal (Secular), NK Premachandran of Revolutionary Socialist Party and Indian Union Muslim League's PK Kunhalikutty were also in attendance. After all, political leaders cutting across party lines are all set to possibly put aside their minor differences for the "larger good" - that of mounting a challenge to BJP and its allies.

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"Much political talk but much more important - tremendous positive energy, warmth and genuine affection", Gandhi said in a tweet.

Left and TMC leaders present at the dinner said that it was certainly a "political dinner without political talks".

The Congress party led by Rahul Gandhi remained a marginal player in the byelections held in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, results for which were announced on Wednesday, putting a question mark over the revival of the party in the Hindi heartland. After the meeting with Banerjee last week, Patel had told reporters that the idea of having a federal front in the future was discussed between them.

The Samajwadi Party today won the Phulpur Lok Sabha seat and the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seats, constituencies vacated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, respectively.

"So it seems opposition parties already feeling a euphoria and hoping that now 'Acchhe Din" will be theirs soon.