Amid consistent speculation on the date of Rahul Gandhi’s return from “leave of absence”, the Congress party on Wednesday said he will address a ‘kisan-mazdoor’ (farmer-worker) rally here on Sunday and that his right to privacy should also be respected.
“Our vice president went on a sabbatical after a statement from his office that he will not be available for a few weeks,” Congress leader P.C.Chacko said during a press briefing when repeatedly pressed about the exact date of Rahul Gandhi’s return.
Without giving the exact date, Chacko said Rahul Gandhi will be addressing the rally to be held on April 19. “Every individual has a right to privacy and we must respect that. Our vice president did not escape or disappear,” Chacko added.
But Rahul Gandhi’s office told IANS that it had no information as yet regarding his return before Sunday.
Echoing his office’s stand, even the Congress party refrained from confirming the date of its vice president’s return before Sunday.
Party sources, however, said Rahul Gandhi is expected to hold meetings with party leaders to discuss preparations for the rally after his return before Sunday. They also confirmed that his name was on the invite for the rally and it was a confirmation of his attending it.
Other party sources said Rahul Gandhi is likely to meet farmers’ leaders on Friday
(April 17) at his residence at 12, Tughlaq Road here.
Missing from action for over a month, Congress vice president has been on a leave of absence since the parliament’s budget session began on February 23.
His absence came amid intensely fluid political season that saw his mother and party president Sonia leading the opposition’s protest against the controversial land acquisition bill that sought to scrap the existing requirement of securing 80 percent consent from farmers before acquiring land.
The party, however, has been defending Rahul Gandhi’s absence all these days, saying he needed to chart out party’s future course in “isolation” after a series of electoral drubbing. (IANS)