The Congress has expressed its displeasure over allowing its president Rahul Gandhi a seat only in the fourth row at Republic Day celebrations on Friday at Rajpath. Congress leaders have described it as "deliberate humiliation" of the new Congress president.
His predecessor and mother Sonia Gandhi were always seated in the front row. But it is learnt that Rahul Gandhi will attend the function irrespective of a seat in the back row.
BJP President Amit Shah was given the first row during the last Republic day parade. The Congress alleges that the BJP-led government has also ensured that no visiting foreign dignitary meets Opposition parties. Congress leaders said that only leaders from countries where the party has maintained independent ties have met the party chief in recent years and that the government has not facilitated meetings of opposition leaders with world leaders visiting the country, a convention followed for years.
Ten leaders of members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN are the chief guests at tomorrow's Republic Day parade, which will be presided over by President Ram Nath Kovind. PM Modi and his ministers, top leaders from political parties will attend the event.