Rahul Gandhi flew away to US right at the wrong time when Modi did. Moreover, his so-called conference being the reason to be there had raised eyebrows.

Aspen Callingaspen The Mysterious Journey Of Rahul Gandhi!

The Announcement

“Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is traveling to Aspen, US on a short visit to attend a conference,”Weekend with Charlie Rose. ” said Randeep Singh Surjewala, the party media chief, who added, “The conference is expected to be attended by global leaders from various domains, both from government and private sectors.”

The Reality

2015 ASPEN IDEAS FESTIVAL OVERVIEW

Smart Solutions to the World’s Toughest Challenges

Aspen, Colorado: JUNE 25 – JULY 4, 2015

Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic magazine, the Aspen Ideas Festival is the nation’s premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times.

rahul in aspen The Mysterious Journey Of Rahul Gandhi!

 

Why Aspen Is Special?

Aspen is among top U.S. destinations to see fall colors

Aspen has been named among the top 10 destinations in the U.S. for viewing fall colors.

TripAdvisor released their list of top 10 destinations for viewing fall foliage on Thursday, based on reviews from millions of travellers.

Aspen was placed No. 3 on the list for its stunning fall shades of gold, crimson and tangerine.

aspen snow covered The Mysterious Journey Of Rahul Gandhi!

Aspen seeks visitors from Middle East, China.

ASPEN, Colo. – Aspen Skiing Company is expanding its reach to the international market as it looks to attract visitors from China and the Middle East.

The Aspen Times reports that Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle says there’s a huge potential market for the ski industry in both regions even though they are both somewhat new to ski culture.

The company sent a sales representative to Dubai this past summer, and has made multiple visits to China in recent years as part of a long-term branding strategy.

These Days Aspen’s Main Attraction Is Its 37th Film Festival

ASPEN FILMFEST 2015

37th Annual | September 25 – 30, 2015

aspen film fest The Mysterious Journey Of Rahul Gandhi!

One of Colorado’s longest running festivals, Aspen Filmfest presents a big-screen celebration for movie lovers of all ages and tastes. Filmfest showcases award-winning features and documentaries, along with previews of starry fall releases, opportunities to interact with filmmaker guests, and other special presentations.

The movie lineup for the 2015 Aspen FIlmfest has been announced and includes a blend of documentaries, foreign films and features.

The 37th annual Aspen Filmfest is being held from Sept. 25 to 30, with screenings at Paepcke Auditorium and the Isis Theater in Aspen, and the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale.

Aspen Attractions

aspen attractions The Mysterious Journey Of Rahul Gandhi!

 The city of Aspen in the remoteness of  Rocky Mountains’ Sawatch Range and Elk Mountains, along the Roaring Fork River at an elevation of  8,000 ft ,is  popular with Skiiers and tourists in general and it has a population of  around 7,000.

Aspen has many well stocked bars like Aspen Brewing Company., The Red Onion  or Finbarr,  nightclubs, one named after former  Colombian Druglord, Escober hip discotheques, pubs, restaurants, cable cars, skiing slopes, and a costly real estate business.

To quote a travel literature about these nightclubs : “They are Aspen’s most passionate and exciting socialite, rendezvous to unfold the liberations and libations. They are the nightly refuges for loosening up and letting go, stimulating one’s senses.”

Apart from skiing, idling and merrymaking, not much happen to this idyllic tourist town.

The last big happening of Aspen was in  Seprmber last year, when  the US Vice President, Joe Biden visited the town. Biden’s 40-car motorcade sped to Aspen after landing at the Eagle County Regional Airport, arriving in town around 8:30 p.m.

aspen airport The Mysterious Journey Of Rahul Gandhi!

Escorting security personnel  blocked almost every intersection as the caravan passed along the 70-mile route using Interstate 70 and Highway 82.

Earlier, Biden’s known visit to the Aspen  was for a ski vacation over President’s Day weekend in February 2013.

Who Is Charlie Rose?

charlie rose The Mysterious Journey Of Rahul Gandhi!

 Charles Peete Rose Jr. runs a highly popular public-affairs show on U.S. Television. For almost last 24 years and with roughly 7,000 guests, his  hour long conversation has always been  livid  about politics,  business, media, law,science, culture and literature. In recent times,  Rose has hosted US President Barack Obama and his wife, the First Lady wife Michelle, Russian President Vladimir Putin,  Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,  mega investor Warren Buffett, US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, the Principal Economics Adviser to President Obama Peter Orszag, Actor Leonardo DiCaprio.Professor Noam Chomsky, among others.

Among many popular US Talk Shows, say  by Larry King , Bill O’Reilly, Ted Koppel, Whoopi Goldberg, or Joe Scarborough, Rose has earned a unique name, a powerful position.

“The Weekend with Charlie Rose” , is an idea that has borrowed his name. Various event marketing companies have tried to lend his name, to such events but the last time he himself participated at such annual meet was in the year 2012.

Rose’s latest interview with  Russian President Putin has been broadcasted  on Sunday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Where Is Rahul Gandhi?

Aspen has two well circulated newspapers, the  ‘Aspen Times’  and ‘Aspen Daily News’. Every important news of the city gets into them without fail. If you go through their Appointments section, specially over the ‘Weekend’ , there is no mentioning of any event related with Charlie Rose or any international conference.

Aspen Times’s  managing editor and columnist Rick Carroll, wrote in his column recently: “Details are limited about an Aspen conference, billed a “Weekend with Charlie Rose,” but a political flare-up in India is shedding light on the private affair.”

 In his website,you will find that the festival was dated in june/july this year.

In Aspen Insitute’s website, a programme at Aspen, Colorado , 2015 Aspen ThinkXChange is dated onWednesday, October 7, 2015 – 4:30pm to Friday, October 9, 2015 – 11:00am at the Aspen Institue Meadows Conference Center located in Aspen, Colorado. Its on US national topics.

 Here Is A Story

Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo went back to being a detective, to figure out who to bill for the expenses of his department  during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit  to Aspen over the weekend in September 2014.

He thought that it was Forstmann Little & Co. that was organising the event, as the private equity firm had done for years before the death of principle Ted Forstmann in 2011. A company official, however, said  that Forstmann Little no longer organises its Aspen event.

Then a name appeared :  “The Weekend with Charlie Rose.” According to Christian Muirhead, the head of corporate communications at Los Angeles-based William Morris Endeavor,  which co-hosted the event,  it was a private, invitation-only event, and he declined to name who was there.

“I gather that some former employees of the firm have attempted to copy the concept, however I am completely unfamiliar with any details,” General Partner of Forstmann Little, Winston Hutchins said. “Our firm and our current employees are in no way affiliated with the event …”
Pitkin County Sheriff DiSalvo and Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario  were unhappy with the new entitity. The corporate event organisers were inconsiderate about  the major impacts on a small city community when they invited someone like Biden, without informing thir local administration in advance.

Has Congress Concocted A Story?

 Sujeet Rajan , the Editor-in-Chief of the popular online newspaper, ‘ The American Bazaar’ reported from  New York, on September 23:”Calls to The Aspen Institute, which has its headquarters in Washington, DC, but holds events also in Aspen, New York City and San Francisco throughout the year, revealed that the annual ‘Weekend with Charlie Rose’ conference got over in the first week of July this year”.

According to him, since its beginning in 2005, the festival takes place between June 25-July 4, according to Karen Peterson, Registrar and Conference Manager, ‘Aspen Ideas Festival, the name by which  the annual event is known as.

This year, Some 350 presenters, 200 sessions, and 3,000 attendees comprised the annual festival , in the month of July.

“I don’t see Rahul Gandhi listed as a speaker in any Aspen related event, public or private, in the past or in the near future,” said Petersen in an interview to The American Bazaar.

Asked by Rajan, whether Rose himself selects the guests for the annual meet, Petersen said that though in the past Rose has been a featured speaker at the event, the last time he himself participated was in 2012.

When enquired, Petersen also checked other Aspen events where Rahul Gandhi might be a speaker, but reportedly he could not find his name in the database.

“There is nobody by that name featured in any Aspen event,” Petersen said to the newspaper.

George Abraham, chairman of a faction of the Indian National Overseas Congress, and based in New York, in an interview to ‘The American Bazaar’, said that he had “not been notified” of any visit by Rahul Gandhi to the United States.

“ We wanted him to come here to talk of the Congress ideology, but this is anyway not a good time to visit the US with prime minister Narendra Modi also on a visit,”  Abrahamsaid to Rajan.

Lavika Bhagat Singh, the President of the officially recognized Indian National Overseas Congress, in  Washington DC,  said in a phone interview with the newspaper that she was not aware if Rahul Gandhi was in the United States.

“I don’t know,” said Singh.

After almost a week, the south Mumbai politician and businessman Milind Deora and Rahul Gandhi’s team have posted some photographs on twitter, saying that Rahul  was attending some  important conference. But as it seemed, it was a different conference , from the one earlier stated.Also its quite unclear, why he has traversed such a long distance just to listen, some discussions in a meet, about which not much is known!

Anyway, Deora has also posted some  mountain photographs from Colorado. So, its obvious that the mood is sabbatical and genuinely sans souci. But still. Apart from this brief appearance…what else he is doing there and exactly where!

Rahul Gandhi’s whereabouts in the USA is still a mystery! 

By Deep Basu

Images were supplied by the author.

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