With Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the dais, Home Minister Chidambaram was a stark absentee on the dais on day 1.
Why was Chidambaram not on stage? It came as a surprise to the addressees, as one saw even Vilasrao Deshmukh and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on the dais?
The reason behind the home minister's absence on a day that was of great importance to the party could not be ascertained. But Chidambaram was seen busy checking messages on his mobile phone.
The home minister is apparently the third most important Union minister after the prime minister and finance minister and hence his absence on the dais was 'quite shocking', said a congress delegate from Tamil Nadu.
However, even though the Congress party has made amends on day 2, Chidambaram is seated in the last row on a day when the Prime Minister addressed the plenary.