Back to business? Rahul Gandhi to return after 2-month-long ‘leave of absence’

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AICC meeting Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who has been on leave for “introspection” for the past two months is expected to return to the national capital on Thursday.

The Gandhi-Nehru scion, had stirred controversy after he skipped the first part of the Budget Session of Parliament, which began on February 23 along with two marches led by party chief Sonia Gandhi.

The first one was the solidarity march taken to the residence of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when the CBI special court made him an accused in the coal scam case. The second one was against the controversial land bill. Mrs Gandhi led the march of over a dozen political parties to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The two incidents have shown that Mrs Gandhi alone can rejuvenate the Congress after the humiliating defeats in the Lok Sabha and the state Assembly polls. She has been comfortable with non BJP-parties, which can work with her against the BJP inside and outside Parliament.

The Congress had officially announced Mr Rahul Gandhi’s sabbatical on February 23, saying he had gone on leave for “introspection”. And later said the leave was for two weeks. Although the party is tight-lipped on where he is introspecting, it had made it clear that the recent appointments of PCC chiefs had his stamp, suggesting he is in touch with the party.

In his absence, the Congress united the Opposition and broke the ruling NDA on the land bill and succeeded in creating a perception that the bill is anti-farmer and pro-corporate.

On Sunday, Gandhi is expected to address a massive farmers’ rally against the Centre’s proposed land bill.

Reports also indicate that he is expected to replace his mother as the party chief in the coming months.

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