Sonia goes abroad for ‘routine check-up’, to return in 4-5 days

New Delhi : Congress president Sonia Gandhi has gone abroad for a “routine check-up”, nearly six months after surgery in the US, and is expected to return in four-five days, a senior party leader said here Tuesday.

“Congress president Sonia Gandhi has travelled abroad for a routine check-up after six months of earlier treatment. She will return in four-five days,” party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi Dwivedi said here.

Party sources said that Sonia Gandhi left for the check-up Monday night.

Dwivedi’s remarks indicated that Sonia Gandhi, 65, would be back in the country before the counting of votes cast in assembly elections in six states is taken up March 6.

Sonia Gandhi has addressed a series of meetings in the poll-bound states and had Sunday spoken at a party rally at Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Her son and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi is guiding the party’s high-pitched poll effort in Uttar Pradesh.

The last phase of assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh will conclude March 3 and Goa will also go to the polls the same day. Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur had gone to polls in January and all the results will be out March 6.

With predictions of a hung house in Uttar Pradesh, Sonia Gandhi may need to take a decision about forging an alliance in the post-poll scenario to form a government. The results would also be viewed as the outcome of Rahul Gandhi’s efforts to revive the fortunes of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh. The election outcome is also likely to have ramifications for the United Progressive Alliance government ahead of budget session of parliament from March 12.

Sonia Gandhi had undergone surgery in the US for an undisclosed ailment last August and had returned to the country after almost a month. Some media reports had said Gandhi had been admitted to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York but the party did not confirm this.

Rahul Gandhi was among the four leaders named to look after party affairs when Sonia Gandhi had travelled to the US August.

Party sources said a team had not been formed to look party affairs during the Sonia Gandhi’s current visit abroad as she would be away for only a brief period.

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