Cong protests Rahul's 6th row seat; govt says following UPA protocol

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Congress president Rahul Gandhi today approved a 70-member campaign committee headed by Karnataka Power Minister D K Shivakumar for the coming assembly polls in the southern state, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president G Parmeshwara said.

IMAGE: Congress President Rahul Gandhi with party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and other dignitaries during 69th Republic Day Parade at Rajpath in New Delhi on Friday.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi's designated seat for the Republic Day Parade in the sixth row has prompted an angry reaction from his party that accused the government of setting aside tradition and indulging in "cheap politics".

All 10 ASEAN leaders conveyed to India their desire for it to play a more assertive role in the strategically important Indo-Pacific region while recognising the country's growing stature in ensuring regional peace and stability. He said under the UPA, presidents of BJP which was the main opposition, Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh, were allocated seat in the 11th row meant for officials.

"BJP leaders were treated similarly during the Congress rule but we had never made it an issue". It shows that Congress party still believes in aristocracy and not in democracy'.

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It was his first Republic Day function as party chief after having taken over the post from his mother Sonia Gandhi in December previous year. It also pointed out that BJP president Amit Shah had been allotted a seat on the front row.

Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said the Modi government's "cheap politics" was in display when it broke tradition and denied Rahul a front-row seat.

He said that BJP leaders were not given seats in the VIP area during the Congress-era.

Government sources said that as per the protocol, the Leader of Opposition is accorded a seat in the seventh row.