BJP afraid of Mallikarjun Kharge, says Congress, as LoP finds himself left out of G20 dinner

Interacting with the media at Brussels Press Club in Brussels, Gandhi said the government's action tells about its thinking.

BySouth First Desk

Published Sep 08, 2023 | 7:50 PMUpdatedSep 08, 2023 | 7:50 PM

Congress party leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. (Supplied)

Congress party chief and the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has not been invited to the G20 gala dinner, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Friday, 8 September, accusing the government of not valuing leaders who represent 60 percent of India’s population.

President Droupadi Murmu will host the dinner on Saturday at Bharat Mandapam, the venue for the G20 summit with world leaders in attendance.

Related: BJP hits out at Opposition; don’t agree with Udhayanidhi: Congress

‘Actions tell us about the thinking’

Interacting with the media at the Brussels Press Club in Brussels, Gandhi said the government’s actions says a lot about its thinking.

“It tells you something,” Gandhi said in response to a question. “They have decided not to invite the Leader of the Opposition… It tells you that they don’t value the leader of 60 percent of India’s population,” he said.

“It is something that people should think about… why they are feeling the need to do that, and what is the type of thinking that goes behind that,” he said.

Gandhi is currently on a three-nation European tour to Belgium, France, and Norway.

He held closed-door meetings with some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in Brussels on Thursday.

‘BJP afraid of Kharge’

Vice-chairman of the Minority Department of the Karnataka Congress Abdul Mannan Sait Bidar claimed that Kharge was not invited since the BJP was afraid of him.

“Congress President Shri @kharge ji, leader of opposition and leader of the people for 50 years is not invited to G20 dinner hosted by the @rashtrapatibhvn while all other leaders have been invited. It tells us how afraid the BJP is with our leader #MallikarjunKharge ji that even his presence in an innocuous dinner party is seen as a threat to the fragile ego of #Modi and #Shah,” he wrote on X.

Working president of Tamil Nadu Congress Mohan Kumaramangalam, apparently suggesting that the BJP was being casteist, said: “Modi hai to Manu hai” (If there is Modi then there is Manu).

“Indian President Kovind not invited to the Bhoomi Puja of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Bharatiya President Murumu not invited to the opening ceremony of the new Parliament. Congress President Kharge not invited to the G20 Delegates Dinner. Modi hai to Manu hai,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Meanwhile, Lahar Singh Siroya, Rajya Sabha MP of the BJP from Karnataka took a jibe at the Congress, saying that Kharge was denied the opportunity to boycott another event.

“It is not that Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge has not been invited to the G20 dinner. On the contrary, he has been denied an opportunity to boycott another event of national importance,” he wrote on X.

(With PTI inputs)