Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is currently in Kathmandu, Nepal, as per local media reports. He is in Nepal to attend wedding function of his friend Sumnima Udas, a former CNN correspondent. Her father, Bhum Udas served as Nepali Ambassador to Myanmar. Gandhi has been sighted at Rama Hotel and Crown Plaza in Kathmandu with his wife, sister and children, who are also present during the wedding function which will be held on August 26th night at Hotel Yak & Yeti in Kathmandu.
Rahul Gandhi has arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday to attend wedding function of his friend Sumnima Udas. Uday Shankar, Chairman and CEO Star India Pvt Ltd was also spotted with Rahul as per sources. Gandhis are very close to Uday Shankar’s family. It is being said that Rahul will spend about three days there and he will meet political leaders including Maoist party leader Prachanda during his stay there. The video of Rahul playing drums at wedding have gone viral over social media platforms. Nepali media is abuzz with news regarding Rahul’s visit.
What is the significance of this visit?
This is a high-profile visit and is reflective of both Rahul’s personal inclinations as well as Congress’ political interests. This will be first time Rahul will have met KP Oli, who was sworn in as PM on October 11. But he has been close to Oli through his sister Namita Kaul Bhattacharya, who lives with her family in Kathmandu. KP Oli had hosted a dinner for Rahul during his trip to India earlier last year, where he had discussed about ties between India and Nepal with him.
How Rahul will be received by Nepal’s leadership?
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, popularly known as Prachanda, and other political leaders were due to meet Rahul on Saturday afternoon. While PM Dahal will host Rahul at his official residence, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli is expected to receive him at his residence on Friday. The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) is yet to announce where it will hold its meeting with Rahul. The young Congress leader’s trip coincides with party president Sher Bahadur Deuba’s four-day state visit to India from March.
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How do people see the move?
According to a media report, It is seen as another instance where political parties do not allow their senior leaders to step away from politics. The upcoming elections are crucial and being head of a major party, Rahul will have his hands full campaigning. In fact, he was first supposed to be attending sister Priyanka Vadra’s wedding; however after her marriage was called off that plan was scrapped. Congress leaders were keen on letting him take some time off from political activities and enjoy some rest; however his absence could prove costly for their chances in Uttar Pradesh.