Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and RJD chief Lalu Yadav met over dinner today, hours after Mr Gandhi’s conviction in the “Modi surname” defamation case was stayed by the Supreme Court, paving the way for his return to parliament as an MP.
After a very public photo session, where the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief was seen giving a bouquet of pastel flowers to Mr Gandhi, both went in for a dinner of mutton cooked by the RJD chief himself.
The meeting at RJD MP Misa Bharti’s Delhi residence, where Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav was also present, is significant as the newly formed opposition bloc INDIA is set to meet in Mumbai later this month.
Though Rahul Gandhi and Lalu Yadav discussed much politics, the two spent quite some time in small talk and enjoying their meal, people familiar with the matter said.
Lalu Yadav arranged for desi mutton and spices to be brought from Bihar for the occasion and showed the Congress leader how mutton is cooked in Bihar’s special style, sources said.
Bihar’s Champaran mutton is known for its unique cooking style and flavours.
Mr Gandhi also asked about the RJD chief’s health.
— Congress (@INCIndia) August 4, 2023
The Supreme Court’s big relief to Rahul Gandhi has paved the way for his re-entry in parliament. The big questions now are how long the Lok Sabha secretariat takes to restore his membership and whether he will be able to participate in the debate on the no-confidence motion against the government, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
On the legal front, the Congress leader has challenged the March order of a Surat trial court in the 2019 criminal defamation case, which had led to his disqualification. The Sessions Court in Surat will hear his appeal against the ruling – which had convicted him and sentenced him to two years in prison – on August 21.
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