Sources said at least 100 MPs talked to Gandhi during the dinner hosted at Gandhi's official residence at 10, Janpath. They were served both South Indian and North Indian delicacies.

Due to hectic engagements with Telangana issue, Gandhi was unable to have an interaction with party MPs as there was no valedictory dinner meeting of the parliamentary party during the just-concluded winter session of parliament, the last of the 15th Lok Sabha.

It was, therefore, a kind of farewell meeting with Lok Sabha MPs as Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi walked up to the dinner tables of MPs and chatted with them.

Most of the Union Ministers, including P Chidambaram, Sushilkumar Shinde, G K Vasan and Kamal Nath were present.

"It was sumptuous food we enjoyed. There was no formal interaction," said a party MP who declined to be identified.

Party MP Suresh Kalmadi, Renuka Chowdhary, Sanjay Nirupam, senior leader Ajit Jogi and several other party office bearers were also present.

Chowdhary said Gandhi asked MPs to be battle ready for the next Lok Sabha polls and fight the election with confidence.

During the informal discussions, Gandhi also told some MPs not to be disheartened.

Congress is battling a ten-year anti-incumbency of the party-led UPA government and the challenges of and inflation and slowing economy.


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