Rahul Gandhi Skips Congress Meet After Return From Sabbatical

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Rahul Gandhi Skips Congress Meet After Return From Sabbatical

Rahul Gandhi returned to Delhi on Thursday after a 2-month sabbatical


New Delhi:  Rahul Gandhi, who returned on Thursday after an extended sabbatical in an unknown place, stayed away from a Congress meeting today even though the discussions were on farmers' problems - a subject he will have to speak on at length during a rally on Sunday.

Mr Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, the Congress president, will both address the rally organized against the government's proposed law to make it easier to acquire land for industrial and key infrastructure projects.

It is being seen as the 44-year-old Congress vice president's comeback platform after a 57-day "leave of absence" that included a course in vipassana or meditation. Party leaders today discussed how to ensure an impressive crowd at the Ramlila ground in Delhi, a popular venue for campaigns and protests.

"We are the foot soldiers, we all work under the directives and directions of the Congress leadership, including Rahul Gandhi," said senior leader Digvijaya Singh, when asked whether Rahul missed a chance to reacquaint himself with a politically vital topic by skipping the meeting.

The party had scheduled the meeting immediately after Rahul's return, which was deferred several times in the past few weeks. His long absence had triggered speculation even within the Congress about whether he is ready to take over as party chief, which is the plan.

"Momentary outbursts aside, @INCIndia should come together, pay gratitude to Soniaji's spectacular 17 year leadership & rejuvenate under RG," tweeted Congress leader Milind Deora, who was among the first to raise questions after Rahul Gandhi led the party to a colossal defeat in last year's national elections.

After leaders like Sandeep Dikshit and Amarinder Singh recently commented that this may not be the right time for Sonia Gandhi to make way for her son, telegraphing the party's mixed feelings on Mr Gandhi's leadership, Digvijaya Singh today reiterated that he should take charge of the party and lead from the front.


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