Pics:Rahul skips PM's farewell dinner, leaders cover-up excepting Omar

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New Delhi, May 15: The Congress party has found itself in a controversy yet again as Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi skipped Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's farewell dinner. Top leaders of the Congress, however, urged that the issue should not be politicised as Rahul had already met Manmohan Singh on Saturday, thanking him for his contribution in governing the country.

He had also excused himself from the dinner as he was leaving town for 2 days.

RPN Singh, the Minister of State for Home Affairs said,"This issue should not be politicised. We should talk about great work done by the prime minister."

Meanwhile, Ajay Maken said that after a gruelling campaign of three months, Rahul had left town for two days.

However, Congress ally and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah criticised the Congress's handling of the situation, saying,"If you knew he was not attending the dinner and he'd explained his absence to the PM earlier put out the statement BEFORE the news breaks (sic)."

The function at 10 Janpath was held in gratitude for the third longest-serving Prime Minister of India. Manmohan Singh and his wife were presented a memento with signatures of the top leaders and Union Minister Pallam Raju read out the dedication inscribed on the memento. After a couple of photo sessions, Sonia Gandhi said,"I am not worried about exit polls, we have done good work for 10 yrs. We appreciate the Prime Minister's contribution. Singh's experienced and seasoned stewardship, his personal integrity and ability to lead the country through difficult times is noteworthy and India is proud to have earned so many laurels and respect during the 10 years."

Formerly, a governor of RBI, Singh assumed office on May 22, 2009, but entered politics in 1991 when he was appointed the Finance Minister by the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao.

Sonia Gandhi presents a Bouquet to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Congress President Sonia Gandhi presents a Bouquet to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the farewell dinner hosted by Congress President at her residence 10 Janpath in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Media persons outside at the farewell dinner of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Media persons outside at the farewell dinner of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hosted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her residence 10 Janpath in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Congress leaders Murli Deora and Milind Deora leave after the farewell dinner

Congress leaders Murli Deora and Milind Deora leave after the farewell dinner of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hosted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her residence 10 Janpath in New Delhi on Wednesday.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid leaves after attending farewell dinner

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid leaves after attending farewell dinner of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hosted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her residence 10 Janpath in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Congress President Sonia Gandhi with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and cabinet minister during the farewell dinner hosted by Congress President at her residence 10 Janpath in New Delhi

Congress leaders leave after the farewell dinner of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Congress leaders leave after the farewell dinner of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hosted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her residence 10 Janpath in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Sonia Gandhi presents a memento to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Congress President Sonia Gandhi presents a memento to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the farewell dinner hosted by Congress President at her residence 10 Janpath in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives at the farewell dinner

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives at the farewell dinner hosted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her residence 10 Janpath in New Delhi on Wednesday.

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