While Rahul Gandhi has been under intense scrutiny and faced criticism for hobnobbing with the Chinese ambassador to Nepal in Kathmandu, that is hardly the end of the controversy. The media is now questioning the credentials of the woman whose wedding the former INC president attended at a nightclub. “Rahul Gandhi was supposedly at the wedding of Sumnima Udas, a Nepali diplomat’s daughter, who actively supports Nepal’s claim over regions of India’s Uttarakhand. From China to Nepal, why does Rahul have ties only with those who are challenging India’s territorial integrity?” tweeted Amit Malviya, the head of BJP’s social media cell. The allegation has turned out to be true.
The Kathmandu Post, a major daily of Nepal, had listed the itinerary of Rahul Gandhi and his reason for visiting the country. However, there was no context of the video in it.
“Gandhi (Rahul) landed in Kathmandu on a Vistara Airlines flight at 4:40 PM. He was accompanied at Kathmandu airport by three others, two security sources confirmed. Gandhi and his friends are staying at Kathmandu Marriott Hotel in Naxal, the sources added. Gandhi is in Kathmandu to attend the wedding of his Nepali friend Sumnima Udas,” the report read.
Gandhi’s Nepali friend Sumnima Udas is a former correspondent with CNN based in Delhi, who had been on the politics, economics, social and environment beats for the said American media house in the period 2001-2017, shows her LinkedIn profile. She is also the founder and executive director at The Lumbini Museum in Nepal.
Rahul Gandhi’s Nepali friend has a journalism degree from Lee University, and did her masters from Oxford. She received the Journalist of the Year award in 2014 for her reporting on gender issues.
Sumnima Udas’s father, Bhim Udas, was a former ambassador to Myanmar. He was quoted by news agency PTI as saying, “We invited Rahul Gandhi to Sumnima’s wedding. The wedding will be solemnised on Tuesday and the reception will be held on Thursday.”
In a tweet in 2020, Gandhi’s friend Sumnima Udas had herself written Nepal should have issued a new map decades ago, claiming parts of India’s Uttarakhand.
BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala on 3 May tweeted, questioning Gandhi’s leadership, to say, “Rajasthan burns but Rahul Gandhi prefers partying over his own party. He tweets about various crisis in India but prefers bars over ‘Bharat ke log’. Rahul is not even a part-time politician but a ‘party time’ politician. Not the first time… remember his party mode post 26/11.”
INC spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala had said at a press conference yesterday that attending a wedding was not a crime. “Rahul had gone to attend a wedding in Nepal… Attending a wedding is a matter of our culture and civilisation. It is still not a crime to do so.” But what about the sinister connections with Nepal’s anti-India section and India’s hostile neighbour China?