IOA invites Rahul Gandhi to join torch relay

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Beijing, Apr 8: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has invited Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to participate in the India leg of the Olympic torch relay in Delhi on April 17.

If Rahul decides to run with the torch on Delhi's Raj Path, it will add a new dimension to the security arrangements for the relay. The Gandhi scion's participation in the event may also give a boost to Indo-China relations. Rahul had accompanied his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on a visit to China last year. The Congress general-secretary has also been invited by the Communist Party of China to Beijing to commomerate the 20th anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi's visit to China. Though Rahul's participation in the relay may add political glamour to the event, the Congress party has to think about its political implications as well, a source said.

"We have invited Rahul Gandhi to join the rally. We expect Sachin Pilot and Jitin Prasada to be part of it as well," Suresh Kalmadi, the IOA president, told sources on Tuesday.

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