Former Wayanad MP and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is set to visit the United States on May 31 for a ten-day tour. Sources confirmed that on June 4, he will hold a rally in New York’s Madison Square Garden, which is set to attract around 5,000 NRIs. Additionally, he is scheduled to attend a panel discussion and speech at Stanford University in California, where he will meet with politicians and entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to visit the US on June 22 for an official state visit. PM Modi will be welcomed by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden for a State Dinner at the White House.
Mr. Gandhi made headlines after his recent speeches in London, where he was critical of the Indian government, raising concerns about the state of Indian democracy. Speaking at a convention organized by the Association of Journalists in London, Mr. Gandhi said, “Everybody knows, and it’s been in the news a lot, that Indian democracy is under pressure and attack… we are facing an attack on the basic structure of Indian democracy.” The remarks were seized upon by the ruling BJP, who called for an apology. Meanwhile, the Congress Party called for the establishment of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to investigate the Adani Group of companies.
In April, Mr. Gandhi was disqualified from his post as a Member of Parliament, following his conviction in a defamation case. According to the Indian Constitution, he was disqualified in accordance with Article 102(1)(e), read with Section 8 of the Representation of People Act, 1951.
Despite this setback, Mr. Gandhi’s visits to the US and the UK have garnered significant attention, both at home and abroad. His speeches have underscored the ongoing debate about democracy and governance in India, highlighting concerns about press freedom, judicial independence, and the role of opposition political parties.
As Mr. Gandhi prepares to embark on his latest visit, the focus once again will be on his speeches and their potential impact on India’s domestic politics. While he is expected to highlight the challenges faced by opposition leaders and parties, he will also face scrutiny from both his political opponents and his own party. Regardless of the outcome, his visit is certain to be closely watched by observers on both sides of the political divide.