Congress leader and former Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi will begin a 10-day visit to the USA on May 31, sources said.
On June 4, Gandhi will address a rally of about 5,000 NRIs in New York’s Madison Square Garden, they added.
The itinerary also includes panel discussions in Washington and California and a speech by Gandhi at Stanford University, where he will also meet politicians and entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on an official state visit to the United States on June 22. During his visit, Modi will be hosted by US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at a state dinner at the White House, the Ministry of External Affairs informed through a press statement last week.
On April 11, Gandhi was disqualified from his position as a Member of Parliament after being convicted and sentenced to two years in jail in a defamation case. He was disqualified in accordance with Article 102(1)(e) of the Indian Constitution, read with Section 8 of the Representation of People Act, 1951.
Gandhi’s overseas visits have come under the scanner and dominated the headlines after he gave a series of speeches at Cambridge University criticising the Indian government.
In March 2023, Gandhi delivered a speech at Cambridge University, at a convention organised by the Association of Journalists in London, and finally during an in-conversation session at the Chatham House think tank in London.
“Everybody knows, and it’s been in the news a lot, that Indian democracy is under pressure and attack. I am an Opposition leader in India; we are navigating that (Opposition) space,” Rahul Gandhi said at Cambridge University in the UK.
“The institutional framework which is required for a democratic Parliament, free press, the judiciary, just the idea of mobilisation, moving around all are getting constrained. So, we are facing an attack on the basic structure of Indian democracy,” he had added.
The remarks by the Congress MP gave fresh ammunition to the ruling BJP, who demanded an apology.
The Congress and Gandhi had been insisting on the constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe allegations of dubious financial transactions and dishonest business practices against the Adani Group of companies.