Ahead of PM Modi’s state visit to U.S., Rahul Gandhi to address rally at Madison Square Garden 

Congress leaders say that it is only a coincidence that the rally comes ahead of Mr. Modi’s first ever state visit to the country

Published - May 19, 2023 10:05 pm IST - New Delhi

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the U.S., in third week of June, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi will address a public rally at New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 4.

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the U.S., in third week of June, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi will address a public rally at New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 4. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the U.S., in third week of June, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi will address a public rally at New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 4. The public rally will cap his week-long tour of the U.S., that includes a talk at the Stanford University. 

According to sources, what set plans in motion was an invitation from Stanford professors Larry Diamond and Francis Fukhyama for a lecture and talk at the university which is scheduled for May 31. 

This will be first public rally by Mr. Gandhi in the U.S. In September 2014, just months after he was elected for the first time, Prime Minister Modi had addressed a public meeting at the same venue. Congress leaders claim that it is only a coincidence that the rally comes ahead of Mr. Modi’s first ever state visit to the U.S., after taking over as Prime Minister. 

Mr. Gandhi is also scheduled to hold interactions with the Indian American community, industry representatives and the student community. He will also address a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington. 

“Mr. Gandhi was headed to U.S. for the talk at Stanford but once the word got out about the event, many other organisations and think tanks approached seeking time. People want to hear about his experiences during Bharat Jodo Yatra, which in many ways was a unique event in contemporary politics. They also want to talk to him about the reasons for his disqualification, which again is unprecedented in a democratic country,” a senior Congress leader said. 

Mr. Gandhi will also be meeting Hollywood fraternity, especially those of Indian origin. He has invitations from several media groups to participate in chat shows but so far, as per sources, nothing has been finalised.

Mr. Gandhi’s last foreign trip to United Kingdom in March 2023 had generated huge outrage with the ruling BJP accusing him of portraying Indian democracy in bad light and also led to impasse in Parliament with BJP MPs sloganeering against him demanding an apology. They also filed Breach of Privilege motions against him for defaming the Indian Parliament. But before the Privileges committee could act on these complaints, on April 11, he was disqualified after his conviction in a defamation case by a Surat court.

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