NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi has gone to the US to attend a conference 'Weekend with Charlie Rose' at Aspen, Congress said today and dubbed as "patent lies" the BJP claims that allies want him out of Bihar poll campaign and he had gone on a "forced vacation".
Hitting back at BJP, Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said that party was spreading "petty canards" as it was foreseeing its imminent loss in the upcoming Bihar Assembly polls.
"Rahul Gandhi is travelling to Aspen, US on a short visit to attend a conference. 'Weekend with Charlie Rose' is a conference where thought leaders from different walks of life like politics, finance, technology, media, medicine, sports etc gather to deliberate on multiple issues," Surjewala said.
His remarks came after BJP spokesman Sambit Patra took a dig at Rahul Gandhi over his visit to the US, saying it may be a "forced vacation" as, according to him, allies JD(U) and RJD wanted him out of the Bihar poll campaign.
Surjewala said BJP is seeing its imminent loss in Bihar elections and spreading of "petty canards" is being resorted to like RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat calling for review of reservation and BJP spokesperson "shooting themselves in the foot by spreading patent lies."
Congress had initially claimed that Rahul was on a personal visit but later said he had gone to attend a conference in the US.
Patra took potshots at Congress, saying the party was now looking for a "face-saver" which was reflected from the "dichotomy" in its statements.
"It appears that the feedback the leaders of grand alliance got from Bihar made them call Congress to send him on a forced vacation because his stay anywhere near Bihar is going to harm their electoral chances," Patra said.
Mocking at the Congress' explanation that Rahul will attend a conference in Aspen, US, the BJP spokesman said the Congress leader was an "expert without knowledge".
The website of Aspen Institute says since 1991, Rose has done more in-depth interviews with Nobel laureates and extraordinary men and women of science, politics, art, business, sports, technology, literature, and entertainment than any other tv program in the world.
It says that these conversations have made Rose the cultural and intellectual custodian of our times, providing accessible profiles of the people who have influenced world. Rose is the recipient of the Legion d’honneur, numerous awards from the scientific and journalism communities, and many honorary degrees.