Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday hosted a dinner for members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha at a state-run five-star hotel. Over 750 MPs of both the Houses were invited by the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry. However, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) decided to skip the dinner.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, various leaders of the ruling NDA, DMK's Kanimozhi, AAP Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh and three of four TDP Rajya Sabha members who joined the BJP - YS Chowdary, CM Ramesh and TG Venkatesh - among others attended the dinner.
Sources said the dinner was hosted so that the prime minister and other members of the union council of ministers could meet all MPs from both the houses in an informal atmosphere.
"The MPs interacted with the prime minister in a very informal manner and they were seen clicking selfies with him," BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, adding that the atmosphere was very congenial.
The prime minister reportedly lauded the role played by previous Speaker Sumitra Mahajan at the gathering, the source said.
During the all-party meet on Sunday, ahead of the start of the Parliament session, Modi had told leaders that political differences can be kept aside to discuss issues related to public interest. Later, PM Modi tweeted that he had a "wonderful" evening with MP colleagues over dinner.
"Cutting across party lines, we had great conversations through the programme," he said and also posted some pictures of the event.
However, the RJD - the main opposition party in Bihar - boycotted the dinner hosted by PM Modi in protest over the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreak in the state which has claimed the lived of over 100 children in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district.
RJD leader Misa Bharti said that the party will not be attending the prime minister's dinner for all parliamentarians today.
"Medicines and live equipment can be procured from the amount that is being spent in organising this dinner," Misa Bharti told news agency ANI.