PM, leaders greet Sonia on her birthday

New Delhi, DEC 9 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 12/9/2018 12:03:58 PM IST

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was greeted by leaders from across the political spectrum on her birthday, a day before the crucial meeting of opposition parties in Delhi. Mrs Gandhi turns 72 today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished her on Twitter. “Best wishes to Smt. Sonia Gandhi Ji on her birthday. I pray for her long and healthy life,” PM Modi tweeted.

A meeting of opposition parties to discuss a grand alliance against the BJP for the 2019 national elections is scheduled for Monday. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, MK Stalin, Tejashwi Yadav and Chandrababu Naidu are among the leaders who are expected to attend.

The meeting also comes just ahead of parliament’s winter session, seen as the opposition’s last chance to take on the government in the house. The opposition is likely to raise several issues such as the Rafale deal, distress in farm sector, and working of the CBI. Gandhi, who has been facing health issues, did not campaign actively for the recently-concluded elections. She attended only one public meeting in Telangana last month.

Among the opposition leaders were DMK president MK Stalin, M Kanimozhi and A Raja who called on Mrs Gandhi. Her son Rahul tweeted a picture of Mr Stalin greeting her with a bouquet of peach roses.

The DMK also invited Mrs Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for the inauguration of M Karunanidhi’s statue in Chennai on December 16, according to news agency ANI.

Like every year, Congress workers celebrated outside 10 Janpath, her home in central Delhi. Top Congress leaders wished her on Twitter.

Other opposition leaders who wished her include West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bihar opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah too joined the chorus and tweeted his wishes.

Sonia Gandhi was born in 1946 in Lusiana, Italy. She has been the longest serving president of the Congress and headed the party for 19 years before Rahul Gandhi succeeded her last year.

She was married to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991.

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