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Updated: September 9, 2011 01:44 IST

Sonia returns after treatment

Smita Gupta
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Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who underwent surgery early last month in a hospital in the U.S., returned to India in the early hours of Thursday. File photo
The Hindu Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who underwent surgery early last month in a hospital in the U.S., returned to India in the early hours of Thursday. File photo

It could be a while before she resumes active work

UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who underwent surgery early last month in a hospital in the U.S., returned to India in the early hours of Thursday to resume charge of an embattled party and render political counsel to a government under siege. “The Congress president returned early today [Thursday] and she is fine,” party general secretary and media chairperson Janardan Dwivedi told journalists, but continued to remain silent on the nature of Ms. Gandhi's ailment, surgery or, indeed, the city in which it took place.

The only nugget of information came from Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar in her valedictory remarks at the end of the Parliament session on Thursday, when she confirmed speculation that Ms. Gandhi had been undergoing medical treatment in the U.S, while saying that she had been missed during the session.

Advised rest

But clearly, it could be a while before Ms. Gandhi resumes active work, with authoritative Congress sources saying she would not meet anyone other than family members for some time as she had been advised rest for a few weeks by her doctors. She will gradually resume her duties, party sources said, adding however that it was unlikely that she would be able to give the party the focused attention she had been giving since she took over the reins of the Congress in 1998.

Even so, Ms. Gandhi was quick to issue a statement on Wednesday's bomb explosion outside the Delhi High Court: “The Congress President has expressed her heartfelt condolences and sympathy to those who died and were injured in the unfortunate incident,” Mr. Dwivedi said.

Shortly after Ms. Gandhi's departure last month, it was announced that she had left the management of the party in the hands of her son and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, her Political Secretary Ahmed Patel, Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Mr. Dwivedi.

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