Rahul’s Cambridge visit for lectures in poll season raises many eyebrows

New Delhi, Feb 27 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has taken a five-day pause from the ongoing Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, from February 26 to March 1, and is headed to the United Kingdom for delivering two lectures at the University of Cambridge.

Congress In-charge for Communications, Jairam Ramesh, informed that the Wayanad MP will resume the Yatra from March 2, after his long-standing commitment to deliver ‘special lectures’ at his alma mater.

Rahul has been a regular visitor and orator at foreign universities for sometime now, and has often ignited controversy with his denouncement of the Narendra Modi dispensation from foreign soil.

This time, his foreign visit in the heat of the poll season has also left some INDIA bloc partners ‘baffled’ and ‘bewildered’ at the ‘timing of the UK visit’.

Many allies are wondering what led to such ‘need and urgency’ for Rahul to attend events at foreign soil when the party’s seat-sharing talks for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls still remain in limbo.

Political watchers and analysts have already questioned the rationale behind the ‘Nyay Yatra’ in the run-up to the 2024 polls.

“When the party should have used all its might in speeding up public outreach programmes besides mobilising and galvanising support, the top leadership is seen walking on the streets,” said one of the analysts.

Rahul’s recent visits to foreign soil had hogged headlines, more for his frontal attack on the Modi government and less for ‘intellectual talk’.

At a couple of recent occasions, Rahul spoke in person or gave interviews to people with ‘anti-India’ mindset and launched no-holds barred attacks on the Modi government as well as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Rahul’s statement in the UK last year had led to a huge backlash as he reportedly sought foreign intervention for restoring the ‘crumbling’ democracy in India.

As expected, it drew an angry and blistering retort from the BJP, which accused him of maligning India’s image and also compromising the country’s sovereignty on foreign soil.

There are multiple incidents when Rahul’s anti-establishment statements, made on foreign soil, sparked a major storm back home. Similar fears are being expressed on social media, as Rahul packs his punches for his upcoming session at the Cambridge University.

During his visit to the UK in 2022, Rahul had claimed that ‘India’s soul was under attack’ and it was done at the behest of the incumbent governhment.

Rahul’s ‘democracy under attack’ charge from London snowballed into a huge controversy. He also claimed that he was not allowed to speak in the Parliament. Incensed over the charges, the BJP ripped into the Congress and accused it of ‘bowing to foreign forces’ to derail democracy in India.

Rahul’s 2023 visit to United States saw his tirade against the government reaching a new level.

“What is happening to Muslims in India today happened to Dalits in the 1980s,” Rahul had said in San Francisco in May 2023.

Rahul also met Sunita Viswanath, allegedly a proxy of Open Society Foundation George Soros, who is known to have aggressively campaigned against India and Hinduism in the West.

During his 2018 visit to Malaysia, Rahul had lambasted the Modi government over demonetisation and had also listed out the ‘inherent’ flaws in it.

Rahul’s litany of charges and attacks on the Modi government from foreign nations may have been a calculated move of top strategists, but this has largely backfired than giving the party a tactical advantage.

With Rahul’s visit coming just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, it is widely believed that the Congress MP will take the opportunity to unleash a fresh wave of attack on the Centre.

Interestingly, political pundits are also eager to see if Rahul makes it loud and clear or whether the narrative is given a turnaround and used to its advantage by the BJP.