Congress president Sonia Gandhi will not attend the first part of parliament's monsoon session - starting Monday - as she left the national capital for her annual check-up abroad today. While Mrs Gandhi will remain out of the country for at least two weeks, her son, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, who is accompanying her, is expected to return after a few days, when Priyanka Gandhi Vadra joins them to assist her.
Mrs Gandhi has held meetings with her parliamentary strategy group and has given clear directives for better coordination in both Houses and to raise key issues that are affecting the nation.
The party is likely to raise issues like economic slowdown and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic by the Centre, in parliament.
Congress President, Smt. Sonia Gandhi is travelling today onwards for a routine follow up & medical check up, which was deferred due to the pandemic.— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) September 12, 2020
She is accompanied by Sh. Rahul Gandhi.
We take this opportunity to thank everyone for their concern & good wishes.
A day before her departure, Mrs Gandhi made key organisational changes in which several "dissent" letter writers, who were seen to have questioned the leadership of the Gandhis last month, lost their posts.
The most notable of the leaders removed from the post of party general secretary is Ghulam Nabi Azad, the de-facto leader of a group of 23 senior party men, who had written to Mrs Gandhi seeking sweeping changes in the party's organisational structure.
The group had talked about "collective leadership" of the party in the letter, which was seen as an attack on the Gandhis.
Motilal Vora, Ambika Soni and Mallikarjun Kharge were also removed as general secretaries of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in the Friday shuffle by Mrs Gandhi.
P Chidambaram, Tariq Anwar, Randeep Surjewala, and Jitendra Singh have been named as the regular members of the reconstituted Congress Working Committee. Randeep Singh Surjewala, a Rahul Gandhi loyalist, has been named general secretary in charge of Karnataka.
Parliament reconvenes on September 14 amid rapid rise of coronavirus cases across the country. Several safety measures, including compulsory face mask and social distancing, will be in place, sources have said. The chambers and galleries of both Houses will be used for the sitting of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs.
Sources have said that each house will be limited to four hours functioning per day; the Lok Sabha will convene first, followed by the Rajya Sabha.