NEW YORK (TIP): Congress party is finding it hard to defend another “holiday” taken by its vice-president Rahul Gandhi, and the question everyone may be asking is whether or not the Crown Prince of Congress Party is interested in politics?.
Gandhi, a 44-year-old bachelor parliamentarian, took a leave of absence starting in late February this year as well for 56 days which he termed as a sabbatical. The timing led to much talk and speculation in political circles, as budget session of Parliament had just commenced.
The Press Trust of India reported that Gandhi had left India to attend the ‘Weekend with Charlie Rose’ Conference at Aspen, Colorado, as per Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala & Salman Soz.
Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala rejected rumors about Mr. Gandhi’s whereabouts and stated “Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is traveling to Aspen, US on a short visit to attend a conference. The conference is expected to be attended by global leaders from various domains, both from government and private sectors.”
He, however, did not give dates about the conference or the duration of the visit.
Earlier in the day when asked about Rahul at AICC briefing, Surjewala said, “Rahulji is traveling abroad on a short personal visit and will return shortly. We reject all rumors stating otherwise. He will continue to lead the party’s Bihar campaign as also in the rest of the country.”
What baffles the media is that ‘Weekend with Charlie Rose’ conference was held in July this year. Senior Journalist Padma Rao in a TV debate tried to clear confusion and checked about this conference of Mr. Gandhi with Karen Peterson who is the Conference Manager of Aspen Ideas Festival which hosts this annual event.
As per Ms. Paterson, Mr. Rahul Gandhi is not listed as a speaker in any Aspen related event, public or private, in the past or in the near future.
Mr. Charlie Rose has not hosted the ‘Weekend with Charlie Rose’ since 2012. The INOC Overseas President also confirmed that Mr. Gandhi is not in the United States in any official capacity and if he is in Aspen he must be on a Personal Visit.
Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also in the USA from September 24th morning on a six-day visit.