Rahul Gandhi gets new passport, set to travel to US on Monday


PTI, May 28, 2023, 3:30 PM IST

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi received a new ordinary passport on Sunday, two days after a local court granted its no objection to the issuance of the same, sources said.

They said the passport office had assured Gandhi in the morning that the passport would be issued to him on Sunday and he got it in the afternoon.

The former Congress president is set to travel to San Francisco in the United States on Monday evening where he will start his three-city tour. He had applied for an ordinary passport after surrendering the old diplomatic passport issued to him when he was a member of parliament.

Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as an MP following his conviction and two-year sentence by a Gujarat court in a defamation case over his Modi surname remark.

Starting with San Francisco where he is scheduled to interact with students at the prestigious Stanford University, Gandhi will also address a press conference and have meetings with the lawmakers and think tanks in Washington DC.

The Congress leader is likely to address Indian Americans, meet lawmakers and interact with members of think tanks, Wall Street executives and university students during his week-long tour of the USA. He is slated to conclude his trip with a large public gathering in New York on June 4. The interaction would take place at the Javits Center in New York.

A Delhi court had on Friday granted a no-objection certificate to Rahul Gandhi for the issuance of an ‘ordinary passport’ for three years instead of 10, the period for which it is normally issued, following an objection raised by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.

The court noted that the National Herald case was pending at the stage of cross-examination of the complainant in pre-charge evidence and Gandhi has been regularly appearing either in person or through his counsel and has not hampered or delayed the proceedings.

Rahul Gandhi is an accused in the case in which Swamy is the complainant. An ordinary passport that is generally issued to adults is valid for 10 years.

On March 24, the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala was declared vacant after Rahul Gandhi, who represented it in the Lok Sabha, was disqualified following his conviction in a defamation case in which he was sentenced to a two-year jail term.

The Congress leader, whose sentence has been suspended in the defamation case filed over his remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname, had moved the court seeking a no-objection certificate on Tuesday.

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