New Delhi: Days after returning from abroad just ahead of Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls, Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi on Monday again left for abroad on a ‘meditational visit,’ Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a press conference on Wednesday.

He also said that the entire programme of holding 35 press conferences from Nov 1-8 as mark of protest against the Central government over the economic situation was drafted as per his direction.

“Rahul Gandhi has gone in the past from time to time on a ‘meditational visit,’ on which he is currently there, this entire programme (35 press conferences from Nov 1-8 against Central govt over economic situation) was drafted as per his direction and in consultation with him.

Reports suggest that Rahul’s visit is scheduled only for a week and he will return to India in the first week of November and will join the protest then.

On Tuesday, the grand old party had decided to hold 35 press conferences between November 1 and 8, and will also hold protests from November 5 to 15 to highlight the country’s current economic situation.

During this planned protest time, senior leaders of the party will address press conferences from November 5 to 15 from district to state level and a major show has been planned in Delhi where other opposition parties have also been invited.

The development comes as former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh earlier this month addressed a press briefing on India’s economic condition, saying that the ‘much-advertised double engine model’ of the BJP government has utterly failed.

“The much-advertised double engine model of governance on which BJP seeks votes has utterly failed. Maharashtra has faced some of the worst effects of the economic slowdown. The manufacturing growth rate of Maharashtra has been declining for the fourth consecutive year,” he said.

Prior to this, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary KC Venugopal in a statement on October 23 had said that protests would be organised in districts and state capitals, which would be culminating in a massive programme in the national capital.

“It may be recalled that the decision in this regard was taken at the meeting headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi with senior leaders, party office bearers and Incharges, Congress CMs and PCC presidents and CLP leaders on 12/13 September, but the earlier schedule of the programme slated between October 15 to October 25 had to be postponed because of the just-concluded assembly elections,” Venugopal was quoted as saying by ANI.