NEW DELHI: Congress Vice-President on Thursday returned after 56-days of ‘unexplained’ sabbatical which had raised several questions on his leadership qualities and interest in politics.
44-year-old Gandhi scion reached Delhi at 11:15 AM on a Thai Airways from Bangkok, ending all speculations over his absence.
Dressed in a dark shirt and seated in the back seat of his vehicle, Rahul arrived at his residence as he was escorted by his security guards and drove straight into the house without offering a word to the media persons gathered there to catch his view. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul’s sister Priyanka Gandhi were already waiting for their family member at his 12, Tughlaq Lane residence.
Congress party workers burst crackers celebrating the return of Rahul Gandhi that comes ahead of the farmers’ rally planned by the party on the controversial land bill which he is to address on April 19.
According to the sources, the plane was scheduled to land at 10:30 AM but was delayed by 40 minutes.
The Congress VP left silently ahead of the Budget Session that started on February 23 but where he had actually gone is still unknown.
While he was not around, many party leaders including former Chief Ministers Amarinder Singh and Sheila Dikshit had come out in open endorsing Sonia Gandhi’s continuation as the Congress President.
On one hand where Congress celebrates the return of their leader, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the other hand has mocked Gandhi’s come back.
“He is back and there is no doubt that he will take proactive measures with dynamism and provide flawless leadership,” said Congress leader Anand Sharma. The issue of the farmers’ is extremely close to Rahul’s heart, Sharma added.
BJP on the other side took a dig at the Congress VP stating that he ‘ran-away’ as he had lost all confidence.
BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra slamming Rahul Gandhi for his unexplained absence was quoted in a media report, “From Nehru to Rahul, it is the withering away of the dynasty. The Congress Party is saying that Rahul Gandhi will conduct a successful kisan rally, to which we would say there is no item number in Indian politics or politics as such. You can’t just reappear, attend a rally and then vanish again. You have to be serious.”
Patra further added that the return of Rahul from his sabbatical had made headlines for all wrong reasons. “This is for the first time in Indian politics that an important member of a political party was absconding for such a long period of time and his return has become news,” said Patra.