Rahul Gandhi shifts to resort near Kathmandu after controversy

Kathmandu: After the controversy over his appearance at a Kathmandu-based nightclub, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has shifted to a resort nearby Kathmandu valley.

Gandhi, who arrived in Kathmandu on Monday evening to participate in a marriage function of his Nepali friend, Sumnima Udas, was earlier staying at a five-star hotel in Kathmandu.

After the marriage ceremony was over, Rahul and some other guests attending the wedding of Udas, shifted to Lakhuri Bhanjyang-based lavish resort, the Terrace Resort, on Tuesday, two security officials confirmed to IANS.

Terrace resort is located on the outskirts of the Kathmandu valley and is famous for sightseeing of the majestic Himalayas that also provide organic food to its guests.

The resort is owned by the Sherpa family whom Sumnia got married into on Tuesday evening. Rahul’s Kathmandu visit has courted controversy after he was seen with a woman in a Kathmandu-based nightclub on Monday night. A video went viral in India and lots of comments were pouring in. Some even criticized that the woman, who was seen with Rahul at the nightclub, was the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi.

‘How one can imagine that a diplomat joins with the leader of a foreign nation in a third country at midnight,’ security sources said, adding that this was baseless rumour and there was no truth in it. She could be someone from the family of the bride’s side, an official added.

After Rahul’s visit was dragged into controversy in the Indian media, now Nepal Police has deployed some security personnel in plain clothes for his security.

It is said that Rahul and some of his Indian friends, who arrived to attend the marriage function of Sumnina, will stay in Kathmandu until Friday. The Udas- family has organised a reception on Friday evening at a five-star hotel in Kathmandu.

Sumnima is the daughter of former Nepali ambassador to Myanmar, Bhim Udas.

Sumnima, a former CNN correspondent, has married Nima Martin Sherpa. Sherpa family owns many family businesses in Nepal, including hotels, resorts, and manufacturing units among others. Currently, Sumnina is working on a project in Lumbini where she is setting up a Buddhist Museum in Lumbini, the birth place of Gautam Buddha.

Sumnima was working as CNN’s correspondent in New Delhi and was responsible for covering key political, economic, social, environmental, and general interest stories from the country. When she was in Delhi with CNN, it is said that Rahul and Sumnina became friends.

According to CNN’s website, she covered the 2014 Indian General Elections, the diplomatic row between India and the US after the arrest of an Indian diplomat, and the various rape cases like Nirbhaya. Udas travelled to Malaysia to report on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. She also investigated the barbaric kidney trafficking trade in Nepal for CNN. Udas was awarded the ‘Journalist of the Year’ prize at the inaugural Women’s Empowerment (WE) Journalism Awards in March 2014 for her reporting on gender issues.

In August 2018, Rahul Gandhi had visited Kathmandu on his way to Kailash Mansarovar, a famous pilgrimage site in the Tibet Autonomous Region in China.

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