Ahead of US visit, Rahul moves court for fresh passport

New Delhi: Ahead of his visit to the United States of America, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi moved Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court seeking no objection to the issuance of a fresh ordinary passport to him.

Gandhi had surrendered his diplomatic passport after he was disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha in March following his conviction in a defamation case. Gandhi, elected to the Lok Sabha from Wayanad in Kerala in 2019, has applied for a fresh ordinary passport.

“The applicant ceased to be a Member of Parliament in March 2023 and as such he surrendered his diplomatic passport and is applying for a fresh ordinary passport…By way of the present application, the applicant is seeking permission and no objection from this Court for issuance of fresh ordinary passport to him,” the application said, PTI reported.

The former Congress chief is slated to embark on a 10-day visit to the US in June and address the Indian diaspora at Madison Square Garden and also deliver a speech at Stanford University.

Indian Overseas Congress chairperson Sam Pitroda has said Gandhi is scheduled to visit San Francisco, Washington DC and New York. During his trip, Gandhi is likely to address two public meetings with Indian Americans, meet lawmakers at Capitol Hill and members of think tanks, interact with university students and meet Wall Street executives.

“The purpose of his (Gandhi’s) trip is to connect, interact and begin a new conversation with various individuals, institutions and media, including the Indian diaspora that is growing in numbers in the United States and abroad to promote the shared values and vision of the real democracy with a focus on freedom, inclusion, sustainability, justice, peace and opportunities world over,” Pitroda said in a statement last week.

The visit comes months after Gandhi’s visit to the UK, where his remarks alleging that the structures of Indian democracy were under attack and there was a “full-scale assault” on the country’s institutions, created a storm in India and saw protests in Parliament by BJP members.

The BJP had accused Gandhi of maligning India on foreign soil and seeking foreign interventions. He was disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha in March after he was sentenced to two years in jail by a Surat metropolitan magistrate’s court in the 2019 case over his “why all thieves have Modi surname” remark.

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