Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, both senior Congress leaders, will not attend the official banquet being hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind in honour of US President Donald Trump in the national Capital on Tuesday.
Singh and Azad will not attend as Rashtrapati Bhavan has not invited Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi to the banquet, Congress sources said.
Singh had earlier accepted the invite but on Monday expressed his inability to attend it. He has conveyed his regret to the President’s office for not being able to attend the banquet, sources close to Singh said. Azad had earlier declined the invite as Sonia Gandhi has not been invited.
It has been customary for Rashtrapati Bhavan to invite former prime ministers, leaders of the two Houses of Parliament and leaders of the Opposition to the banquet hosted in honour of a visiting head of state or government.