Sonia Gandhi fine, 'relieved' that Food Bill was passed, Narendra Modi wishes her good health

Sonia Gandhi fine, 'relieved' that Food Bill was passed, Narendra Modi wishes her good health

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi leave Parliament during the discussion on Food Bill in Lok Sabha
Press Trust of India

New Delhi Sonia Gandhi is doing 'fine' after being discharged from Delhi's AIIMS hospital, where she was taken last night just before a crucial vote on the Food Security Bill, a landmark welfare scheme she had championed.

Hours after she returned home on Tuesday, the Congress president received wishes from across the political spectrum.

"Glad to know that Soniaji's health is fine. Wishing her best of health for the future," tweeted Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi this morning. But the BJP's presumptive Prime Minister also raised some questions.

"Concerned that basic medical emergency procedures were not used. Would have been better if a wheelchair or stretcher were used in Parliament," Mr Modi tweeted. (read)

Mrs Gandhi, 66, left Parliament at 8:15 pm for the hospital, escorted by her son and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.  She had complained of chest pains and fever and appeared to stumble as she walked down Parliament steps. She quickly held central minister Kumari Selja's hand and recovered her balance.

"She was very tense about the Food Bill, and sad that she had to miss the voting. She was very relieved when we told her it has been passed. Now she is fine. All the tests say everything is fine," said Ms Selja.

According to doctors, she was initially admitted to the Cardio-Neuro centre and later shifted to the ICU as a precautionary measure. Later she left for home in her own car at 1:30 am.

The Lok Sabha passed the Food Security Bill after nearly nine hours of debate and soon after senior leaders went to visit Mrs Gandhi at the hospital, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Union Ministers Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia. Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit also visited the hospital.

The police cordoned off a 500-metre stretch leading to the Intensive Care Unit to allow a steady stream of VIPs.

Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters: "Madam had some medicine for a headache, because of which she felt uneasy."
 
In a rare speech in Parliament on Monday, Mrs Gandhi had urged parties to unanimously support a "chance to make history" by clearing the Food Security Bill, the world's largest scheme to fight hunger that legally entitles 67 per cent of India to cheap food.

Speculation over the Congress president's health peaked in 2011, when she left India for a surgery in the United States. But neither her family nor the ruling party disclosed anything about her condition at the time.
Story First Published: August 27, 2013 08:42 IST

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