New Delhi, Jan 26: It was political bonhomie at its best. It was sign of a great democracy that India is. And, all this happened on Republic Day. It was picture of lifetime when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi came face to face. This happened at the 'At Home' reception hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind for the ASEAN leaders at the Rashtrapati Bhawan
Both don't miss an opportunity to take pot shots at each other, but Republic Day was different. At the reception when PM Modi and Rahul came face-to-face both greeted each other with a smile, a rare political moment in the current scenario. Then PM Modi walked up to former PM Manmohan Singh Modi and his wife Gursharan Kaur and greeted the couple with a broad smile and Namaste with folded hands.
Earlier, the Congress accused the Modi government of indulging in "cheap politics" after party chief Rahul Gandhi was made to witness the Republic Day function here from a sixth row seat. Randeep Surjewala, Communications In-charge of the Congress, tweeted that the "cheap politics" of the Modi government was evident to every one. He said the BJP-led Central government had broken the convention under which the president of the Congress was given a front row seat. "The arrogant government broke with tradition and convention and deliberately made the Congress President Rahul Gandhi first sit in the fourth row and then in the sixth row in the function to mark the national festival of Republic Day. "For us, the festival of Constitution is most important," Surjewala said. Gandhi witnessed the parade at Rajpath seated along with Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad. Several Union ministers, including Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, were seated in rows ahead of him. On Thursday, Congress leaders reacted furiously following information that Gandhi has been given a fourth row seat at the parade. It was his first Republic Day function as party chief after having taken over the post from his mother Sonia Gandhi in December last year.