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Rahul reaches out to LK Advani, ignores Amit Shah

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NEW DELHI: Congress and BJP may not have been able to bury their differences and end the logjam in Parliament, but that did not stop Congress president Rahul Gandhi to reach out to senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani in Lok Sabha on Monday morning.

Rahul entered the Lok Sabha about 10 minutes before the House was scheduled to start, and upon seeing Advani seated alone in the front row of the treasury benches, headed straight to the BJP veteran. Greeting Advani with folded hands, Rahul was heard asking Advani’s well being. Advani responded: “I am fine, but the House is not.” The former deputy prime minister then proceeded to dwell on how he was concerned about the House not being able to function, and observing that it was the first time he was seeing neither the opposition, nor the Speaker or Prime Minister, being able to end the impasse. After speaking to Advani for a few minutes, Rahul returned to his seat at the other end of the House.

The exchange in pleasantries between the Congress scion and the BJP veteran, however, was in sharp contrast with the awkward moment between Rahul and BJP president Amit Shah, less than an hour later.

Rahul left Parliament shortly after Lok Sabha was adjourned until 12 noon. Shah, who was making an entry just as Rahul was preparing to leave, walked past Rahul. Neither, however, exchanged courtesies, or acknowledged the other.

This is not the first time Rahul has extended his courtesies to Advani in the Parliament, nor, for that matter, the first time Advani has shown his concern over Parliament sessions being washed out due to protests inside the House. In January, at a function to commemmorate the 16th anniversary of the attack on Parliament, Rahul had held Advani’s hand to help him to his place. He has also walked across the House to speak to him in the past.

The same, though, cannot be said of the public brushes between PM Modi, Amit Shah and Rahul. On earlier occasions as well, they have each preferred to walk past without acknowledging each other.

Updated: March 13, 2018 — 4:27 am

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