Setting aside their bitterness, both within and outside Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi shook hands at a function to felicitate NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, who turned 75 on Thursday.
Rahul greeted the prime inister with a 'Namaste' before he was about to leave the function after it got over. However, the two immediately followed it up with a handshake.
As the function was about to be over, Nationalist Congress Party leader Praful Patel called Rahul and Chief Ministers of Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Maharashtra and Rajasthan Devendra Phadnavis and Vasundhara Raje on stage for a group photo with a galaxy of leaders including President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Besides Pawar and his wife Pratibha, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad, Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his Punjab counterpart Parkash Singh Badal, BJP veteran L K Advani and National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah were on the dais.
There have been hardly any exchange of pleasantries between Modi and Rahul since the latter became the prime minister in May last year. The Congress vice president is the one of the most vocal critics of the prime minister.