Sonia Gandhi, Sumitra Mahajan warm hug on I-day Reception

New Delhi, Aug. 15 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee on a rain-soaked Sunday hosted an ‘At Home’ reception for politicians, ministers and diplomats at the Rastrapati Bhavan on the occasion of India’s 69th Independence Day.

President Mukherjee stepped inside the chandeliered Ashoka Hall. The army band played the national anthem, with assembled guests standing as a mark of respect.

Accompanied by his security, the President went around the hall greeting the guests exchanging pleasantries.Prime Minister Narendra Modi who delivered a rousing speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort earlier in the day, also greeted the guests.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi was seen greeting Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan with a hug and exchanged pleasantries. This was seen as a sign of peace after the washed out Monsoon Session as tension was spotted between the speaker and the Congress, after Mahajan suspended 25 Congress MPs for disrupting Parliamentary proceedings.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was seen talking and smiling Prime Minister Modi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Among others who were present at the reception were Vice President Hamid Ansari, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, MoS PMO Jitendra Singh, and other Union Ministers.

AAP MLA Colonel (retd) Devinder Sehrawat declined the invite to the ‘At Home reception in protest demanding the One Rank One Pension scheme.

“Thanked but Unable to attend the At-Home Reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan,While Ex Servicemen are on the roads for OROP,” Sehrawat said on Twitter. (ANI)