NEW DELHI: Amid deepening crisis in Congress with the party’s working president in Gujarat Hardik Patel quitting the party ahead of the Assembly polls, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday left for London to address an ‘Ideas for India’.
Rahul Gandhi, former Congress chief, will speak at the ‘Ideas for India’ conference. He will also interact with the Indian diaspora on what the present and future hold for the country, said the Congress media department head and general secretary Randeep Surjewala. On May 23, Rahul Gandhi will address and interact at Cambridge University on “India at 75: The challenges and way ahead for a resilient-modern India”. The ‘Ideas for India’ event is slated for Friday in London.
He will be reaching London on Thursday evening. Congress leaders Salman Khurshid and Priyank Khadge are also in London to take part in the event.
Notably, this is the first such overseas event for Rahul Gandhi after the return of travel normalcy following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rahul Gandhi left for London at a time when Congress is battling desertion of party leaders from key states. Hardik Patel quit Congress at a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party has already gone in overdrive to prepare for the Gujarat Assembly elections.
Earlier, Congress’ former Punjab unit chief Sunil Jakhar had quit the party, with a cryptic remark ‘goodbye and good luck’.
While Congress held marathon discussions with the poll strategist Prashant Kishor, he eventually rejected the proposal to join a committee of the party. Subsequently, Congress held a Chintan Shivir in Udaipur in Rajasthan to brainstorm over challenges faced by the party, including roadmap to strengthen the organisation ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ starting
To establish a connection with the people, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will embark on a nationwide campaign called “Bharat Jodo Yatra” from Kashmir to Kanyakumari beginning this Gandhi Jayanti, that is, October 2.
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi announced this mass campaign to counter polarisation politics with the slogan “Bharat Jodo” on the last day of the recently concluded Chintan Shivir in Udaipur. The five-month-long yatra which is scheduled to cover a distance of 3,500 kilometers and more than a dozen of states, will commence from Kanyakumari and will conclude in Kashmir, according to party sources.
Congress top brass including Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will also participate in the “Bharat Jodo Yatra” which also includes padayatra, rallies, and public meetings.
Sources said that like-minded parties, members, and organisations from civil society will also participate in this mass campaign.
“Several members of the various civil society including university professors have already approached the party for the yatra since its announcement. However, Congress is working on its mechanism,” sources added.
Meanwhile, AICC general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also announced that Congress will hold two-day state-level ‘shivirs’ to discuss the decisions of the “Udaipur Declaration” adopted during the three-day “Chintan Shivir” in Rajasthan.
According to the party’s declaration, Congress will reach out to all like-minded parties and is open to alliances. In the declaration, the Congress party has decided to set up three new departments — public insight, election management, and national training.
The party has taken major decisions in the Udaipur Chintan Shivir that include providing 50 per cent representation to those below 50 years of age at all levels of the organisation, “no person should hold one party position for more than five years to give an opportunity to new people”, and enforcement of ‘1 person, 1 post’, ‘1 family, 1 ticket’ rules with riders and ticket for second family member only after 5 years of party work. (ANI)