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India polls: Rahul Gandhi takes a break, misses farewell dinner for prime minister

Published on May 15, 2014 3:24 PM
An Indian man stands in front of a poster affixed to a truck showing portraits of Congress Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi (Top L) and Rahul's mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi (C) during the final day of campaigning in the Indian elections in Varanasi on May 10, 2014. Mr Gandhi was missing from the farewell dinner to prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday and is reportedly taking a break overseas after a hectic three month campaign. --PHOTO: AFP 

NEW DELHI - Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's absence from a farewell dinner for outgoing prime minister Manmohan Singh has set tongues wagging in the national capital with critics slamming it as an act of lack of respect for the senior statesman.

But, the party has come to his defence saying the Gandhi family scion was out of the country, and had met the premier before going.

The dinner, hosted by party president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday night, was in honour of Dr Singh, who will be relinquishing his post after 10 years at the helm.

'Respect, Rahul Gandhi style: does not attend PM's farewell', said a headline in The Indian Express newspaper on Thursday which added that his absence left Congress leaders embarrassed and fumbling for answers. 'Rahul skipping farewell dinner raises eyebrows', said The Times Of India newspaper.

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