New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi began a five-day trip to Singapore and Malaysia during which he will reach out to the Indian diaspora and is also expected to meet the prime ministers of the two countries, party sources said.
Mr Gandhi, who reached Singapore yesterday and was welcomed by a young admirer carrying a poster of his at the airport, is likely to meet Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on March 9 and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on March 10, the sources said.
He will begin the Singapore leg of his visit today with an address to Indian entrepreneurs in the city state. Next up will be an interaction at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, where he will make a formal address.
He will also meet Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan today.
On Friday, March 9, Mr Gandhi will meet members of Young Professionals International and later meet the Singaporean prime minister and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
He will also address members of the Overseas Congress and meet representatives of the Indian community. The Congress chief will be interacting with alumni of the Indian Institutes of Management at the Suntec Convention Centre.
On March 10, the Congress chief will travel to Malaysia where he will address a meeting of Indian entrepreneurs and other business delegates.
He will meet the Malaysian prime minister the same day and then address a meeting of Overseas Congress, sources said.
The five day trip to the Southeast Asian countries is ahead of the AICC plenary session here from March 16 to 18 and is being organised by the AICC Overseas cell headed by technocrat Sam Pitroda, who helped former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi lead the IT revolution in India.
Mr Pitroda had earlier successfully organised Rahul Gandhi's visits to the US and West Asia.
Later in the year, the Congress president is also expected to travel to Dubai and Canada.