New Delhi, Jul 8: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's Iftar dinner next week is expected to be a significant affair ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament with leaders of all like-minded parties invited to it.
Among those invited for the July 13 get together are leaders from Samajwadi Party, RJD, NCP, National Conference, AIMIM, AIUDF, Janata Dal (United) and the Left parties. While Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress is invited, the AIADMK and the BJD have been kept out so also the TRS.
Congress is utilising the opportunity to send a larger message of opposition unity at a time when the BJP and the government are on the backfoot in the wake of a series of scams including Vyapam and the controversy arising out of the revelations of the former IPL boss Lalit Modi.
The leaders invited include Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP), Mayawati (BSP), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), H D Deve Gowda (JD-S), E Ahamed (IUML), Kanimozhi (DMK), D Raja (CPI) and Sudip Bandhopadhyay (TMC).
Sharad Yadav of the JD-U is among the invitees so also Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference. The get together of Opposition leaders is taking place at a time when government managers have decided to battle out the controversies on the floor of the House and have taken a conscious decision not to shorten the Monsoon session.
With the ruling dispensation not inclined to be on the backfoot from the very outset, fireworks are expected in the session starting from July 21. Gandhi had led a march of Opposition leaders to President Pranab Mukherjee during the Budget session in protest against the controversial land bill.