‘Rahul will root for democracy on US trip, won’t hold back’

Washington, May 25 (IANS) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will focus on challenges faced by democracy around the world in his public interactions during an upcoming US visit and people close to him said that he will not hesitate to answer questions about the domestic situation in India, something that has previously drawn fierce backlash from critics at home.

Gandhi’s trip is impelled “by a desire to raise our concern about democracy”, said Sam Pitroda, a longtime US-based associate of the Gandhis and someone closely associated with the planning and execution of the Congress leader’s visit.

“I think we have a moral responsibility to talk about the challenges confronting democracy all over the world – from Turkey to Hungary to Mexico to India and even here in the US,” he said, adding: “We are for diversity and inclusion and we will talk about it.”

Asked if Gandhi will talk about the situation in India, Pitroda said, “Yes, if he is asked about it.”

Asked about the controversies that have followed remarks made by Gandhi abroad in previous instances, Pitroda said: “We have no control on them. They happen even when we say nothing.”

Gandhi’s remarks at an interaction with students at Britain’s Cambridge University recently drew severe criticism from rival parties in India for, purportedly, raising seeking foreign intervention in India. Both the Congress leader and the party have maintained he did nothing of the sort.

Gandhi is expected to travel first to the west coast for interactions at Stanford University and members of the diaspora and then wind his way through Washington DC to New York on the east coast for more interactions with “institutions”, as Pitroda put it, and the diaspora, which has been growing exponentially in numbers and financial and political clout and has, thus, been wooed by both the Congress and the BJP and indeed other political parties as well such as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Gandhi is set to add his own name to another bit of family history on this trip when he attends a luncheon interaction with reporters at Washington DC’s iconic National Press Club, which was first done by his great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru in 1956, grandmother Indira Gandhi in 1966, and his father Rajiv Gandhi in 1985. Unlike them, however, he is not going there as Prime Minister.

The Congress leader arrives in the US after a spectacular showing in the Karnataka elections and a widely followed and talked about Bharat Jodo Yatra. But the trip was planned much in advance, Pitroda said, dismissing a suggestion that Gandhi’s US trip was designed to ride this change in the fortunes of the party and the Congress leader.

“This trip is not intended to capitalize on the sudden boost in the fortunes of the Congress in elections, specially Karnataka or even Gandhi’s disqualification from Lok Sabha.

“Trips like these cannot be planned in 20 days,” Pitroda said, adding, “Planning on this trip started a long time ago.”

The other reason for the trip was to connect with the diaspora here. “There are 5 million Indian Americans here who are doing excellent work in all spheres of life and we want to recognise that,” Pitroda said. – IANS

Trump indicted in classified documents case

Washington: Former US President Donald Trump has been indicted with multiple federal criminal charges in connection with his handling of classified documents from his presidency. Trump, who became the first...

Lack of witnesses not enough to let accused off the hook in POCSO cases: Meghalaya HC

Guwahati: Lack of witnesses in sexual assault cases brought under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence Act (POCSO Act) cannot be a defence used to absolve the guilty in...

‘Akhand Bharat’ map issue not political, Pak has no capability to understand matter: Jaishankar

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday brushed aside the controversy over the purported 'Akhand Bharat' map in the new Parliament building, saying that it's not a political...

RBI MPC retains repo rate at 6.5%, projects 6.5% GDP & 5.1% inflation for FY24

Chennai: Not belying the expectations, the Reserve Bank of India's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) did not change the repo rate from 6.50 per cent while projecting gross domestic product (GDP)...

China, Pakistan, Iran hold 1st-ever anti-terror talks

Islamabad: China, Pakistan and Iran held their first counter-terrorism dialogue in Beijing in a move that suggests new alignments in the region, the Foreign Office in Islamabad confirmed. The Office...

India rejects cunning Chinese ploy of creating buffer zones in eastern Ladakh

New Delhi: The cunning ploy of the Chinese army to impose on the Indian army a formula for disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh that would have gone wholly in favour...

India among nations interfering in Canada: PM Trudeau’s NSA

Toronto: Prime Minister Justin Trudeaus National Security Adviser Jody Thomas has said that India is among the top sources of foreign interference in Canada. "When I talk about foreign interference...

Iran reopens embassy in Saudi Arabia after 7-year closure

Riyadh: Iran has reopened its embassy in Saudi Arabia after seven years of closure, nearly three months after the two countries agreed to restore bilateral ties under a Chinese-brokered deal....

K’taka caste census report: Congress govt’s decision may stir debate, threaten party unity

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's announcement to accept a report of the socio-economic survey known as caste census is likely to stir a debate in the state as the contents...

Dhaka seeks clarification from New Delhi on ‘Akhand Bharat’ mural in new parliament building

The foreign ministry of Bangladesh has sought an explanation from India over the Greater India or 'Akhand Bharat' map that was recently installed in the new Parliament building in New...

Elections our right, won’t beg anybody to hold them: Omar Abdullah

Srinagar, June 6 (IANS) Former chief minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah said on Tuesday that elections are the right of the people and he won't beg before anybody...

Migration bill ‘cruel, unworkable’: London Mayor tells UK Home Secy

London: Calling the Illegal Migration Bill "cruel" and "unworkable", London Mayor Sadiq Khan told the UK's Home Secretary Suella Braverman that more than 50,000 people will be at risk of...

Read Previous

Future course of action concerning Asia Cup 2023 to be taken during IPL final, says BCCI secretary Jay Shah

Read Next

Imran Khan, wife barred from travelling abroad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com