Perhaps for the first time ever, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Vadra and her son-in-law Robert Vadra came together under one roof when they attended the wedding reception of former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Hooda's nephew at a five-star hotel in New Delhi on Sunday.
Conspicuous by their absence, however, were Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki and the man who replaced Hooda as chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar. This despite the fact that Khattar was invited and was in Delhi for a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah after his infamous "Muslims should give up beef remark".
Modi, his cabinet colleagues and senior BJP leaders attended the reception of Sukhinder Hooda aka Monu, son of the former CM's elder brother Joginder, at Taj Palace. The event was hosted by former CM Hooda. Sources, however, said that Modi and the Vadra couple came to the venue at different times.
BJP's main poll plank against Congress during the Haryana election campaigning was corruption and Robert Vadra-owned company Skylight Hospitality's Rs 58-crore land deal with realty giant DLF was the most effective weapon the saffron party used to pin down Hooda in the assembly elections in October, 2014. The land deal controversy had also played a key role in shaking the foundations of UPA-2 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in May, 2014.
Sukhinder, whose father passed away last year, has been handling all political campaigns of the former CM and his MP son Deepender Hooda. He has married Manisha, a girl from a Punjabi family.
Others who attended the event included President Pranab Mukherjee, vice-president Hamid Ansari, former PM Manmohan Singh, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka and her husband Robert Vadra, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Piyush Goyal and Mahesh Sharma, senior Congress leaders Janardhan Dwivedi, Oscar Farnandes, former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit and Haryana ministers, MPs and MLAs.