Rahul Gandhi has gone abroad just days before his Congress party's planned protests targeting the government over the economic slowdown. The former Congress president took a flight out of the country on Monday.
He plans to be back in a week and is expected to join the protest in the first week of November.
"Rahul Gandhi has gone in the past from time to time on a meditational visit, on which he is currently there," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters.
"This entire programme was drafted as per his direction and in consultation with him," he said.
The Congress plans to hold 35 press conferences across the country between November 1 and 8. It will also hold protests from November 5 to 15 to highlight the country's current economic situation.
Senior party leaders are expected to address these press conferences in the run-up to the final event in Delhi where other opposition parties have also been invited.
Senior Congress leader KC Venugopal had said in a statement on October 23 that protests would be organised in districts and state capitals. The decision was taken at a meeting headed by Congress president Sonia Gandh last month. But the earlier plan to hold the protest between October 15 and October 25 was put off because of the assembly election, according to Mr Venugopal.
Mr Gandhi had travelled out of the country also in the first week of October, at the height of the campaign for the Haryana and Maharashtra state elections. On his return, he did address rallies in both states, but hardly enough compared to the BJP's campaign blitz.
The 49-year-old quit the Congress top post after the party's national election debacle in May. Mr Gandhi remained firm on his decision to quit despite cajoling by top party leaders. After a fruitless search for his replacement, the party turned to Mr Gandhi's mother Sonia Gandhi - who had handed the reins to her son in 2017 - and urged her to take interim charge of the post she had for 19 years.