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It was at Baba Siddiqui’s iftar party that Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan reportedly patched up. For the uninitiated, the feud between Salman and Shahrukh was one of the longest lasting ones in Bollywood. Perhaps taking a cue from that dinner Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has organised an iftar get together of her own. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s Iftar dinner 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 <g data-gr-id="36">are</g> leaders from Samajwadi Party, RJD, NCP, National Conference, <g data-gr-id="41">AIMIM</g>, AIUDF, Janata Dal (United) and the Left parties.While Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress was invited and has accepted the invitation, 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 back foot 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 Vyapam scam has come as a blessing for the Congress which after the rout in the elections last year, seemed to be decimated completely. Less than three months ago, the Madhya Pradesh High Court gave a clean chit to Shivraj Chouhan. As anyone in Indian politics knows only too well, clean chits can be deceptive and <g data-gr-id="43">lull</g> a politician into complacency. The court also declared that the documents submitted by senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh to establish the MP CM’s link to the Vyapam scam were forged.However, the story has taken a different turn since then. With the Supreme Court ordering a CBI probe into the Vyapam scam, all those documents will be re-examined, all leads re-investigated. The Congress, obviously, is counting the Supreme Court’s directive among its victories. 

This iftar season could not have come at a better time for the Congress which will toast the miseries of the ruling party. Three prominent invitees are expected to skip Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi’s July 13 iftar party.Stung by <g data-gr-id="34">reversal</g> in his home state Bihar’s legislative council polls, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad Yadav has decided against attending Sonia’s party. 

Instead, he is organising an Iftar party of his own in the Bihar capital Patna on the same day.Sonia Gandhi had inherited the tradition of hosting an iftar party towards the end Ramadan from her mother-in-law, former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi. However, this <g data-gr-id="35">year’s ,</g> <g data-gr-id="40">Iftarparty</g> has assumed political significance considering it is being held just days before the monsoon session of parliament which is expected to be a stormy affair.n India, almost everyone keeping the Ramzan <g data-gr-id="42">fasts</g> <g data-gr-id="37">stop</g> to rejoice for a few minutes following the iftar sirens and adhan. Preparations for Iftar traditionally commence hours before, in homes and at roadside stalls. 

The fast can be broken by eating dates or drinking water if the former is not available.In places like Hyderabad, people break their fast with Haleem because it has a rich taste and is quite filling. This perhaps seems like an apt description of Sonia Gandhi’s iftar party. There will be gastronomic delights galore, and political <g data-gr-id="44">strategising</g> aplenty. And maybe at the end of it a galvanised opposition too!
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