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Congress leader Sonia Gandhi (extreme right) interacts with AAP's Sanjay Singh (extreme left) on Wednesday. (Twitter/@SanjayAzadSln)

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi (extreme right) interacts with AAP’s Sanjay Singh (extreme left) on Wednesday. (Twitter/@SanjayAzadSln)

Congress’s Sonia Gandhi walked up to AAP’s Sanjay Singh and said, “Humara aap ko samarthan hai.” Nodding, Singh folded his hands in acknowledgement. Gandhi reiterated before walking off, “Samarthan toh hai.”

Wednesday saw perhaps one of the most unpredictable moments in politics which will be remembered for a very long time — former United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi walked up to suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, who has been on a sit-in protest in Parliament, to express her solidarity.

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The Congress and AAP are bitter political rivals and the bonhomie between the two is less than 10 days old, when the Congress denounced the Delhi ordinance publicly ensuring the AAP’s presence in the opposition meeting in Bangalore earlier this month.


On Wednesday, as the suspended MP was on the third day of his ‘dharna’ on Parliament premises, braving the rain and mosquitoes, Gandhi walked up to him with a few other opposition leaders, including Rajiv Shukla, and said, “Humara aap ko samarthan hai.”

Singh responded: “Is yug mein jawab maangna bhi aparadh ho gaya hai (In this age, demanding answers is a crime)”.

At this point, Shukla said, “Ma’am is saying that you have our support.”

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Nodding, Singh folded his hands in acknowledgement. Gandhi reiterated before walking off, “Samarthan toh hai.”

AAP Rajya Sabha MP N D Gupta and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Manoj Jha were among those present during the exchange.

Sanjay Singh with his parents and wife, at his sit-in protest in Parliament on Wednesday. (News18)


On July 24, Union Commerce Minister and leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal proposed a motion of suspension of the AAP MP, alleging that “this kind of behaviour and disturbing the house is completely against the ethics and rules of the house”. Singh was protesting in the Rajya Sabha along with other opposition members demanding discussion on the Manipur crisis.

Chairing the house, vice-president Jagdeep Dhankar suspended Singh for the remaining part of the session after a voice vote.

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However, in the past two days, Singh has attracted the support of nearly all opposition leaders. It includes Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Trinamool Congress’s Shatrughan Singh, Congress’s Deepender Hooda, Shashi Tharoor and Randeep Surjewala, Samajwadi Party’s Jaya Bachchan, Congress MP Imran Pratapgarhi, RJD MP Manoj Jha, T Shiva of the DMK, Susmita Dev of TMC, CPI MP Binoy Biswam and more.


After Congress leader Rahul Gandhi ignored AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal’s repeated requests for a ‘tea invite’, it was again Sonia Gandhi whose large-hearted gesture showed that smaller players are valued.

This is the very reason why Gandhi, known for her acumen of dealing with tough allies, is being missed in the rough and tumble of coalition building in the new Congress.


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