On Wednesday evening, as the country was gripped by an intense political drama caused by Nitish Kumar’s shock resignation playing out on TV, Delhi’s Ashoka hotel was the scene of much mirth and back slapping.
The occasion: a party to celebrate Samajwadi Party biggie Ram Gopal Yadav’s 25 years in parliament and thrown by senior leader Naresh Agarwal. And present were the who’s who in the capital led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As parties go, it couldn’t have been more lustrous. Present along with PM were senior cabinet ministers, notably Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, former PM Manmohan Singh and an array of opposition luminaries.
Conspicuously absent though were members of the extended Yadav clan. While Bihar strongman Lalu Yadav was smarting from being dumped by one-time friend-turned-foe-turned –friend Kumar and predictably could not attend the party, neither did Ram Gopal Yadav’s nephew Akhilesh Yadav nor his cousin brothers Mulayam or Shivpal.
People at the party told Power Circuit that Modi, who came in around 8 pm (while the Nitish drama was being played out in full force) and was there for more than an hour amid dinner, was in great mood laughing and posing for selfies & pictures.
After why not.. Just a few hours before, he had engineered the biggest Ghar Wapsi of all times: the return of Nitish Kumar to the NDA fold that has left an already beleaguered opposition completely rudderless.