Rahul unlikely to join Olympic torch relay

April 9th, 2008 - 7:25 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi is not likely to take part in the Olympic torch relay here next week, according to party sources. “Rahul Gandhi has not received any invitation from the IOA (Indian Olympic Association),” a senior party leader, who did not want to be named, said Wednesday.

According to the party leader, the 38-year-old Amethi MP does not want to get distracted from his mission to strengthen the party organisation, especially the Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India, whose charges he is holding.

The Congress’ clarification came after IOA president Suresh Kalmadi’s press statement that he had invited Rahul Gandhi and other young MPs to carry the Olympic torch in the capital April 17.

However, the party sources indicated that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other leaders did not want Rahul Gandhi to be dragged into controversies surrounding the Olympic torch relay after the Tibetans in the capital threatened to disrupt it.

The uncertainty over the Olympic torch relay in India intensified with former Indian Police Service officer Kiran Bedi also backing out of it. Footballer Bhaichung Bhutia had earlier said he would not be a part of the programme.

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