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PM Modi invites Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi for "chai pe charcha"
On Friday evening Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi for a meeting at his official residence 7, Race Course Road in order to remove the deadlock over the Goods and Services Tax bill.

Both sides are claiming that it was a win-win situation and a moral victory for them.

The move came from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who called 10, Janpath at 9 pm on Friday to invite Congress President Sonia Gandhi for their first meeting on Friday.

A senior Congress leader told Indian Express, "The entire exercise to take us in confidence started only after the BJP's defeat in Bihar. Before that they were flying high. Now Modi is grounded and wants to do some work for the people. At the same time, we don't want the media and the middle-class voters to think that the Congress was not helpful on issues of national interest."

BJP sources said that the meeting was initiated by PM Modi to remove the deadlock in the Parliament over the passage of the GST bill, a key reform agenda of the current government. Keeping this in mind the Prime Minister took "one of the most difficult decisions."

On the other hand Congress President Sonia Gandhi agreed to the meeting in order to create a more conducive atmosphere, which would be less hostile to allow "smooth transfer of power" to her son Rahul Gandhi.

A source from the Congress quoted, "It is important that Rahul Gandhi gains acceptance among the youth and middle class. By meeting Modi and ensuring less rivalry inside Parliament, the Congress is sending a signal of their belief in positive politics."

There has been a visible shift in the stance of both leaders after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to invite him to his daughter's wedding.

The inclusion of Manmohan Singh in the meeting between the two leaders was also significant as it is believed that PM Modi enjoys a "good chemistry" with his predecessor.

But, visibly although the BJP said that it had gone ahead with the meeting keeping in mind future prospects and "long-term" advantage. It is the Congress which can claim its moral victory due to the following reasons:

1.       Congress so far has not given any commitment on the issue of GST.

2.       Rahul Gandhi, the future of Congress was not invited for the meeting.

3.       The idea of "Congress-mukt Bharat" promoted by the Prime Minister and BJP President Amit Shah stands completely demolished.

4.       It also highlights the dominance of Congress in the Rajya Sabha.

Whatever the BJP might say, but this meeting will be seen by common people of the nations as a case where a leader of the ruling government with 280 seats in the Lok Sabha is seen requesting the opposition with just 44 seats for cooperation. This is reality is the whole beauty of a democracy. 

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