Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had cordial meetings with officials from the White House and the Biden administration during which the importance of the India-US relationship and the need to broad base those ties were highlighted, his close aide said.
Gandhi on Friday concluded his visit to Washington as part of his six-day three-city tour of the United States. During the visit, he had a series of meetings with the think-tank community, academicians, eminent Indian Americans, media and members of the administration.
“…There were some meetings with people from the administration. Those were very cordial meetings. And really the larger purpose is to highlight the importance of the India-US relationship, the need to broad base the relationship. And there have been questions about Ukraine and India’s stand in Ukraine, and Gandhi has made it very categorically clear, both in private and in public, that he fully supports the Government of India’s stand on Ukraine’s war situation,” Praveen Chakrabarty, chairman of the Data Analytics department of the Congress Party told PTI.
Chakrabarty, who is accompanying Gandhi during his US visit, refrained from giving any further details of those meetings.
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“Without getting into the details of what transpired in those meetings… We met students at universities, we met faculty at these universities. We met technology executives in Silicon Valley. We met the media leadership of America. We met think tanks, academics and scholars. We met some people from the White House. We met some people from the (Biden) administration,” he said.
”So, it has been a variety of meetings. And of course, we met a large contingent of diaspora. We will be meeting people from the culture space, which is Indian Americans in Hollywood, Broadway, music, drama, and all of that also. So, it’s covered a broad spectrum of sections of society,” he said.
According to Chakrabarty, a few important messages came out from Gandhi’s US trip.
“One is the message is about what’s happening in the world and what that means for the India-US relationship, and what should India’s role be? He (Rahul Gandhi) is a strong believer in the deepening and what he calls broadening of India’s India-US relationship. And he believes that it is absolutely necessary to take on the rise of China. That’s the first big message,” Chakrabarty said.
“The second big message is, in his words, Indian democracy is a global public good, which means making sure Indian democracy is robust and strong, helps the world at large, and certainly the United States. And the importance of Indian democracy is the second message,” he said.
“The third message is for the diaspora here who are somewhat concerned about the state of today’s India, which is perhaps different from what they would’ve liked,” Chakrabarty said.
”This message to them is, look, the Bharat Jodo Yatra saw a fantastic reception that tells you that people in India reject the politics of hate. They want the politics of love and affection. There is an absolute opportunity to reject that type of politics and ensure (Mahatma) Gandhi’s vision of India prevails,” he said.
“It has been so exciting. We have been very pleasantly surprised at the reception that we’ve got. The sheer variety of meetings is something that has really engaged us,” he said.
”The response of the diaspora, the response of people that we met, almost everyone has asked us about the Yatra; asked us about the state of politics in India, asked Gandhi’s vision for the changing world order,” Chakrabarty said.