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Rahul Gandhi plays Modi copycat for NRI funds


Sam Pitroda with Rahul Gandhi

Taking a leaf out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s book, Rahul Gandhi has set his sights on foreign shores.

NEW DELHI: Taking a leaf out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s book, Rahul Gandhi has set his sights on foreign shores. The Congress vice-president is keen on expanding the party’s support base in foreign countries. The party plans to hold conclaves with influential NRIs in the US.

Sources said the Overseas Indian Congress, headed by Gandhi family loyalist and technocrat Sam Pitroda, is working on the plans. The NRI community spread across the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia plays an important role during elections.

Diaspora

The NRI community spread across the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia, besides their monetary contributions to political parties, also wields influence on their relatives back home. This leads to major parties going all out to woo them.

As Rahul’s likely elevation to Congress chief nears, this move by the party could add to his profile.

In the past three years, Modi has addressed US-based NRIs in New York, Silicon Valley, and Virginia suburb of Washington DC. Similar interactions in Australia and Israel also drew huge crowds. With Pitroda involved in the initiative, Indians heading multi-national firms like Sundar Pichai of Google, Satya Nadela of Microsoft and Indira Nooyi of Pepsico may also be part of Rahul’s interactive sessions, said the sources.

Besides boosting Rahul’s image among the NRIs, the planned conclaves may also help the Congress with some generous donations as the Grand Old Party is facing a fund crunch post its recent electoral setbacks.

The only two big states ruled by the Congress at present are Karnataka and Punjab. A recent report by NGO Association for Democratic Reforms showed that BJP has emerged as the highest recipient of corporate donations over the past three years. The Congress managers have to address the issue.

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