New Delhi: The gloomy mood that has set in the corridors of power due to the ongoing tussle between the government and the civil society over the issue of Lokpal Bill was clearly visible at the Iftar party hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence on Wednesday.

Unlike previous years, the party was also lacking in its sheen as not a single member from the Gandhi family was present. While Sonia is undergoing treatment in the US, Rahul Gandhi opted to stay away.

Among the opposition leaders, BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha, Varun Gandhi and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi boycotted the party.

In the backdrop of the ongoing stalemate over Lokpal issue, it was clearly evident from the faces of the Congress leaders that they were missing their party leader.

The party, however, served as an interval between the all-party meet on Lokpal and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s dialogue with Team Anna.

Some of the Opposition leaders did attend the party after the meet, but left shortly.


JPN/Bureau