Home News At G20 Gala Dinner, Rivals Get Together To Greet World Leaders

At G20 Gala Dinner, Rivals Get Together To Greet World Leaders


Several Opposition leaders, many part of the INDIA bloc, attended the dinner

New Delhi:

From Prime Minister Narendra Modi sharing a laugh with former ally Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chatting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, photographs from the President’s G20 dinner showed rivals setting aside differences while dining with world leaders who had flown in for the summit.

The Congress stayed away after party president and Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge as not invited for the dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu.

The snub to Mr Kharge has drawn a strong criticism from the Congress, with senior leader P Chidambaram saying this can only happen in countries where there is no democracy or no opposition.

Many others who are part of the opposition INDIA bloc formed to take on the BJP, attended the dinner.

These included JDU leader Nitish Kumar, DMK chief Stalin, Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and her Jharkhand counterpart Hemant Soren.

Photographs from the evening show Mr Kumar, who parted ways with the BJP to join hands with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD, greet the Prime Minister. The two are also seen shaking hands as President Murmu and her US counterpart Joe Biden look on. Jharkhand Chief Minister Soren is also seen in the huddle. 

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In another photograph, Ms Sitharaman is seen chatting with DMK Chief Stalin, whose minister son Udhayanidhi Stalin has come under a fierce attack by the BJP over his remark on Sanatana Dharma. Mr Stalin has defended his son, accusing them of using “troll army” to spread lies.

Ms Sitharaman has been a fierce critic of DMK too. Recently, while speaking during the debate on the no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government, she had invoked former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to target the DMK.

Countering DMK leader Kanimozhi’s remarks on crimes against women in India, she had said recounted the March 25, 1989 incident when Ms Jayalalithaa’s saree was pulled in assembly. “She was a leader of the opposition. DMK members heckled, laughed at her. Jayalalitha took an oath that she will return to the assembly only after becoming the chief minister. And two years later, she did return as the chief minister,” she said. “You are talking about Kaurava Sabha, you are talking about Droupadi, has DMK forgotten Jayalalithaa? Unbelievable.” she had added.

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In one of the photographs, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina was seen with Union Minister Smriti Irani. India and Bangladesh signed three memorandum of understanding (MoUs) ahead of the G20 summit, including one on cooperation in Digital Payment mechanisms. While Bangladesh is not a member of G20, it was invited for the summit as a guest.

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One of the photos shows Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife Yuko Kishida at the G20 dinner. Ms Kishida wore a beautiful saree for the occasion. In fact, she was among several guests from abroad who chose to wear Indian wear for the grand dinner.

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A candid photo shows United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal chatting. Mr Sunak’s photos with his wife Akshata Murty — daughter of Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murty — on the India trip have been viral on social media.

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