Republic Day 2019: After 2018 fiasco, Rahul Gandhi gets front row seat at Rajpath (File Photo)
After a row over his seating arrangement at the Republic Day last year, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday was seen sitting in the front row along with Union minister Nitin Gadkari at the 70th Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. While Gandhi got a front row seat, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad was seen seated in the second row behind Gandhi, unlike last year when both of them were made to sit in the sixth row.
Gandhi, who had taken over as the new Congress chief last year from his mother Sonia Gandhi, was designated the sixth-row seat during the 2018 Republic Day celebrations, prompting angry protest from his party which accused the government of setting aside traditions and indulging in "cheap politics".
The Congress sources maintained that their party presidents had always been seated in the front row at the Republic Day Parade celebrations at Rajpath.
Early in the day, Gandhi took to Twitter to wish the countrymen on Republic Day. Taking to the micro-blogging site, the Congress president wrote, "Best wishes to the countrymen on Republic Day".
Senior party leader P Chidambaram also wished the citizens on the occasion. "Happy Republic Day to all. Republic Day marks the birth of the Constitution of India. Celebrating the Constitution is a joy. Saving the Constitution is a duty," the former finance minister tweeted.
Other senior Congress leaders also put out a number of messages on their Twitter accounts, giving best wishes to the countrymen on Republic Day.
"Remembering our founding fathers on the 70th Republic Day. It is time to rededicate ourselves to the values of equality, liberty and justice enshrined in our constitution, which make us a great nation. Jai Hind," Anand Sharma said.