In a move that raised many eyebrows, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday left India for a visit abroad. According to reports, Rahul Gandhi is visiting Combodia to take part in a mediation camp. Earlier, Gandhi was reported to have taken a flight from Delhi to Bangkok. Later reports added that Gandhi's ultimate destination was Combodia.
Rahul Gandhi's visit comes at a time when Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana are scheduled for October 21. The Congress is presently facing tough challenge to contain dissidence within its ranks. Social media was abuzz with many questioning the timing of his visit. Some even hinted that it showed that te former Congress president was not interested in politics.
Congress, however, has come to Rahul Gandhi's rescue and played down the whole issue. It said that Rahul Gandhi will be back to campaign for the assembly polls when needed. Rahul Gandhi was named among the star capaigners for Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections.
Rahul Gandhi's visit got extra attention as they are reports of Congress being split into two camps - Sonia Gandhi's supporters and Rahul Gandhi's supporters.
On Saturday, Former Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar resigned from the primary membership of the party and alleged that numerous conspiracies are being hatched to eliminate young leaders who have been groomed by party president Rahul Gandhi. Maharashtra leader Sanjay Nirupam and former Tripura Congress chief Kirit Pradyot Deb Barman have also made similar allegations.
Infighting within the Congress in the poll-bound states of Maharashtra and Haryana has been a major setback for the party. In Haryana there has been a divide, with one group supporting Bhupinder Singh Hooda and the other Ashok Tanwar. Meanwhile, in Maharashtra, former Mumbai chief of the party Sanjay Nirupam has revolted openly against the party. A long-drawn tussle has been going on between Nirupam and another Congress leader Milind Deora.