Days before Congress workers plan to hit the streets across the country to protest against the Modi government, their leader Rahul Gandhi has set-off for foreign shores – presumably Indonesia – on a “meditational visit”.
In a bid to scotch speculation, Congress announced formally that the former Congress President was abroad on a “meditational visit” after “guiding” the party in drafting the schedule and the nature of protests against Modi government's handling of the economy.
“Rahul Gandhi has gone from time to time in the past on meditational visits. He is currently on one such visit,” Congress' chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters at a party briefing here in response to questions.
On Wednesday, Congress also shared details of 35 press conferences senior party leaders plan to address across the country beginning Friday to highlight the current economic situation. Congress leaders will also carry out protests at all district and state capitals against the Modi government from November 5. A massive demonstration is being planned in the national capital on November 15, days before the start of the Winter Session of Parliament.
To questions on Rahul's absence from the protests, Surjewala made it clear that neither Congress President Sonia Gandhi nor Rahul would be participating in any state or district level demonstrations.
Congress also made it clear that Rahul had participated in the meeting called by the party president to finalise the plans to organise nation-wide demonstrations to highlight issues such as economic slowdown and farm distress.
“This entire programme was drafted as per his direction and in consultation with him. He guided the party on to the various steps and issues that were to be taken,” Surjewala said.
Ahead of the elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, Rahul was on a brief visit to the Far East countries. He addressed few election rallies in both the states on return.
BJP took potshots at Rahul's foreign visits and his “odd destinations” for meditation.
“India is a leading center for meditation with a rich heritage. But Rahul Gandhi routinely flies out to odd destinations for ‘meditation’. Why doesn’t Congress simply make his itinerary public, after all he is a highly protected leader,” Amit Malviya, the head of the BJP's IT Cell, said.