With the national election just a few months away, Rahul Gandhi plans to meet envoys of the G20 countries. The Congress chief, in the middle of packed poll campaign schedule, will host a lunch at the Taj Palace hotel in Delhi on Friday.
Sources say Rahul Gandhi has individually met several envoys over the years but wanted to have a collective meeting to "exchange ideas". Only diplomats from G20 nations have been invited, sources said.
Mr Gandhi is expected to present his views on a variety of issues, including the relationship with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other neighbours, besides discussions on the idea of India from different perspectives.
Representatives of over 47 countries had attended an iftaar party organised by the Congress last year.
In 2017, Rahul Gandhi had met the Chinese ambassador amid a massive border standoff between the two countries. The meeting, however, drew criticism and questions were raised over its rationale.
As the Congress refused to confirm or deny the meeting, the party chief took to Twitter to emphasise "he has the right to meet the envoy".
"It is my job to be informed on critical issues," he tweeted.
If the government believed he was wrong, it should explain why top ministers were "availing Chinese hospitality while the border issue (Doklam) was on", the Congress chief had said.
The upcoming meeting is part of Rahul Gandhi's outreach programme ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Sources say diplomatic engagements between envoys and the opposition aren't uncommon. It is part of diplomatic practice the world over for diplomats to discuss crucial issues with opposition leaders.
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