New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi is seldom known for expressing her emotions in a lighter vein in public. But on Saturday, a cryptic comment on President Pranab Mukherjee by a compere at the Arjun Singh memorial lecture could not but make Gandhi break into peals of laughter.
At the end of the president’s address, as the compere said, “Khuda ne bhi khushi manaya hoga, jab unhone Pranab Mukherjee ko banaya” (God must have blessed himself the moment he made Pranab Mukherjee), the entire audience at the Teen Murti auditorium burst out in laughter. Gandhi was certainly one of them.
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Earlier, with two of the top Congress leaders — former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Gandhi — sharing the centrestage with Mukherjee, it all appeared a sombre and serious show.
Even the courtesy gestures between the Congress leaders were minimum with hardly any whispering or interactions.
Late Arjun Singh’s wife Saroj Kumari also sat in a corner occasionally chatting with Gandhi.
Among the audience, there were prominent Congress leaders sitting in the first row — ML Fotedar, AK Antony, Digvijaya Singh, Jyotiraditya Scinda, Ahmed Patel, Suresh Pachury, PJ Kurien, while among non-Congress personalities were Farooq Abdullah and Amar Singh.