Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi stole the limelight at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar’s birthday function held here on Thursday.
Rahul greeted the PM with a ‘Namaste’ before he was about to leave the function after it got over. However, the two immediately followed it up with a handshake.
As the function was about to be over, NCP leader Praful Patel called Rahul and Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled Maharashtra and Rajasthan Devendra Phadnavis andVasundhara Raje on stage for a group photo with a galaxy of leaders including PresidentPranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Besides Pawar and his wife Pratibha, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his Punjab counterpart Parkash Singh Badal, BJP veteran LK Advani and National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah were on the dais.
There have been hardly any exchange of pleasantries between Modi and Rahul since the latter became the Prime Minister in May last year. The Congress vice president is one of the most vocal critics of the Prime Minister.