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Rahul Gandhi arrives in San Francisco for US visit

Gandhi received a new ordinary passport on Sunday, two days after a Delhi court gave its clearance.

Rahul Gandhi arrives in San Francisco for US visit
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi arrived in San Francisco (ANI)

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SAN FRANCISCO: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi arrived here on Tuesday for a three-city US tour during which he will interact with the Indian diaspora and meet American lawmakers.

He was received at the airport by Indian Overseas Congress chairperson Sam Pitroda and other members of the IOC. Gandhi had to wait for two hours at the airport for the immigration clearance, party sources said.

While he was waiting in the queue, several people who were travelling with him in the same flight clicked selfies with him.

When people asked him why he was standing in the queue, Gandhi replied, "I am a common man. I like it. I am no longer an MP."

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

The 52-year-old Congress leader is also likely to address Indian Americans and interact with Wall Street executives and university students during his week-long tour of the USA. He is slated to conclude his trip with a public gathering in New York on June 4. The interaction would take place at the Javits Center in New York.

Last week, Indian Overseas Congress chairperson Sam Pitroda said Gandhi's visit is aimed at promoting shared values and a vision of "real democracy".

"The purpose of his (Gandhi's) trip is to connect, interact and begin a new conversation with various individuals, institutions and media, including the Indian diaspora that is growing in numbers in the United States and abroad to promote the shared values and vision of the real democracy with a focus on freedom, inclusion, sustainability, justice, peace and opportunities world over," Pitroda said in a statement.

Gandhi received a new ordinary passport on Sunday, two days after a Delhi court gave its clearance.

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

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

PTI
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