Gandhis skip Bharat Ratna award function: President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday conferred the Bharat Ratna, the countrys highest civilian award, to former President Pranab Mukherjee and Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh and singer Bhupen Hazarika (both posthumously). While Mukherjee received the award personally, Hazarikas son Tej and Virenderjeet Singh, a close relative of Deshmukh were present at the event to collect the prestigious award. Also Read: Bharat Ratna for Mukherjee fitting recognition for his service to nation: PM Modi However, the conspicuous absence of top Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi raised quite a few eyebrows. News agency ANI reported that Rahul Gandhi was invited for the event, however, the exact reason behind him skipping it was not known. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also didnt attend the function. However, Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Janardan Dwivedi, Anand Sharma, Shashi Tharoor and Sushmita Dev were seen sitting amidst the guests. We congratulate former president Pranab Mukherjee for receiving the Bharat Ratna. He worked tirelessly across multiple decades to serve the people of India in multiple roles including that as Union Minister in several Congress Governments, the Congress party said on Twitter. The Bharatiya Janata Party was quick to latch on to the opportunity to corner the Congress top leadership for not ignoring the Bharat Ratna award function. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi didn Guess why? Amit Malviya, BJP IT Cell head, said in his tweet. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi didn Guess why? However, Mukherjee had ignored the partys advice and went on to attend the event.