Rahul Gandhi accepts invitation for public debate with Narendra Modi

It will be a positive initiative for major parties to present their vision from one platform for a healthy democracy, says Congress leader

Rahul Gandhi at a public meeting in Kadapa on 11 May (photo: PTI)
Rahul Gandhi at a public meeting in Kadapa on 11 May (photo: PTI)


Lauding the initiative for a public debate on the Lok Sabha elections, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, 11 May, said he or party chief Mallikarjun Kharge would be pleased to participate in such a discussion and expressed hope that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would also take part.

"It would be a positive initiative for the major parties to present their vision to the country from one platform for a healthy democracy," Rahul Gandhi said in a post on X.

He also added that the nation expects Modi to participate in the debate.

The Congress leader shared on X his reply to Justice (Retd) Madan B Lokur, Justice (Retd) Ajit P Shah and N Ram, who had written to him and the prime minister earlier this week, inviting them to a platform for a debate on the key election issues.

In their letter addressed to the country's leaders, the trio had stated that the proposal for the debate was non-partisan and in the broader interest of every citizen.

Rahul Gandhi said he discussed the invitation with Kharge and they agreed that such a debate would help people understand "our respective vision and enable them to make an informed choice".

"It is also critical to put to rest any unsubstantiated allegations attributed to our respective parties. As the principal parties fighting the election, the public deserve to hear from their leaders directly," Rahul Gandhi said in his letter replying to the invitation.

"Accordingly, either myself or the Congress president would be pleased to participate in such a debate," he added.

The former Congress chief also said he looks forward to participating in a productive and historic debate.

"Please do let us know if and when the prime minister agrees to participate, following which we can discuss the details and format of the debate," he added.

In his post on X, accompanied by the letter, Rahul Gandhi said, "Congress welcomes this initiative and accepts the invitation for discussion. The country also expects the prime minister to take part in this dialogue."

At an event in Lucknow on Friday, answering a question from a member of the audience, Rahul Gandhi said he was "100 per cent" prepared to take on Modi in a debate and added that he knew the prime minister would not agree.

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