Advani skips PM''s farewell dinner for Chatterjee

Advani skips PM''s farewell dinner for ChatterjeeNew Delhi, Apr. 15 : Leader of Opposition L K Advani skipped a farewell dinner for former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on Tuesday evening.

Advani's skipping of the dinner comes amid a bitter war of words between him and Dr. Singh.

Advani has described Singh as the weakest Prime Minister the country has seen, while Singh has countered by saying he would not like to give Advani the privilege of being an alternative Prime Minister by joining a debate with him.

According to sources, Advani's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also not had warm ties with Chatterjee during his five-year tenure as Speaker of the outgoing Lok Sabha.

Apart from Advani, several Left leaders, including Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury skipped the dinner. It may be recalled that CPI (M) expelled Chatterjee from its ranks last year after he refused to quit office and support the party in a no-confidence motion against the Dr. Singh-led UPA Government.

Chatterjee is due to attend other farewell parties and cultural functions, including one hosted by the Lok Sabha Employees'' Association. The Lok Sabha Secretariat would hold a farewell function in the first week of May. (ANI)