RaGa to do a NaMo, will address NRIs at New York event
This will be congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s first public address abroad. He will address the Indian diaspora at Times Square in New York on September 20.india Updated: Sep 09, 2017 17:48 IST
The general election may be two years away but Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is set to test the waters with his first public address abroad at Times Square in New York on September 20.
Taking a leaf out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s massive rallies involving the Indian diaspora across the world in the run-up to the 2014 elections, the Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC) is hopeful that its “most beloved leader” will drum up support for the party with his first public address at Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York.
Rahul is grappling with the party’s sliding electoral graph after a series of defeats and faces infighting besides anti-incumbency in Himachal Pradesh that is likely to go to the polls in October.
An invite to the media has a youthful Rahul, perfectly airbrushed in a white kurta with a tricolour scarf, promising “front row seats” to Indian journalists at the big-ticket event that, the party claims, will be attended by “thousands of NRIs from across the US and from all over the world”.
Overseas Congress chairman Sam Pitroda, who spent nearly a decade with Rahul’s father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi to transform the Indian telecom industry, is spearheading the party vice-president’s event to engage with NRIs. Rahul will urge the diaspora to join his “crusade to empower the youth, women and farmers of India”.
INOC US chapter national president Shudh Parkash Singh, who hails from Abohar, has proactively involved all members of the Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana and Kerala chapters of the party to make the event a success. Besides the New York unit, INOC leaders from Canada, Australia and England will also be in attendance.
Before the public address on the east coast, Rahul will speak on ‘India At 70: Reflections On The Path Forward’, an event sponsored by the Institute of International Studies Berkeley Research on Contemporary India Program and the Institute for South Asia Studies at the University of California on September 11.
But rights group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has called upon the university to withdraw the invitation to Rahul, citing the Congress party’s role in the anti-Sikh riots that erupted after the assassination of his grandmother and former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.