Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is on two-week long visit to US. Prior to his visit Gandhi was criticised for going abroad at a time when party needed his support back home due to a number of key challenges, particularly Gujarat Assembly elections. Gandhi also drew criticism for his speech in UC Berkeley, where he spoke about dynasty politics in India. Gandhi had said, “Most parties in India have that problem. So don’t give us stick because Akhilesh Yadav is a dynast. Stalin is a dynast. (Prem Kumar) Dhumal’s son is a dynast, even Abhishek Bachchan is a dynast. That is how India runs.” The Congress boss had attracted wide criticism for his comments. However, on Tuesday, PTI reported that a number of dignitaries, who attended Rahul Gandhi’s sessions were highly impressed with his point of vision. The Congress vice president in his Tuesday addresses said that intolerance and unemployment are the key issues that pose a serious challenge to India’s national security and development.
The report said that Rahul Gandhi was lauded for a series of meetings he held in US, including a roundtable with eminent Indian /South Asia experts hosted by the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Democratic-leaning think tank. The noted personalities who attended the meet were CAP head Neera Tandon, the former US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, and Hillary Clinton’s top campaign advisor John Podesta. Rahul also met Lisa Curtis, the head of South Asia division at the National Security Council of the White House. The Trump administration official sought Rahul’s views on the US-India relationship and the recently announced Afghanistan and South Asia policy of US President Donald Trump, according to the participants of the meeting.
Later in the evening, Gandhi held closed-door with Republican strategist Puneet Ahluwalia and American Foreign Policy Institute. “I would say, he did not seem to be somebody who did not understand the issue. He has an understanding of the issue. He came across as more of a grassroot understanding leader. Everybody when they left they were pretty much very positive with the interaction,” Ahluwalia said.