The G20 dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu became embroiled in a major political showdown after top Opposition leaders did not get invitations to the high-profile event. Congress chief and Rajya Sabha MP Mallikarjun Kharge was also not invited by the government, which triggered a massive outcry from his party leaders.
Now, Kharge has broken his silence on the subject. “They shouldn’t have done politics on that,” he said in a direct attack on the ruling BJP.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel termed the snub to Kharge as “an attack on democracy”, while former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said it was reflective of a “type of thinking” from the government that “did not value the leader of 60 per cent of India’s population”.
On Kharge's exclusion, Tamil Nadu Congress leader Mohan Kumaramangalam said "Modi hai to Manu hai", in an apparent swipe at caste differences.
Though Kharge and other opposition leaders were not invited to the dinner on Saturday, Union ministers and chief ministers, including of states ruled by opposition parties, have received invites.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Jharkhand counterpart Hemant Soren have already confirmed their participating in the gala dinner, while Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has already departed for the national capital.
The President’s G20 dinner slated for Saturday will be held at the brand-new Bharat Mandapam in Pragati Maidan, with a menu featuring Indian cuisine with a special emphasis on millets, a grain promoted by the country.
Adding to the grandeur of the event, a three-hour concert featuring different styles of classical and contemporary music will be performed for the world leaders.