New Delhi | Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who had to cut short her visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi after she was taken ill, returned here late tonight and was taken to the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital.
The 69-year-old leader landed here by a chartered flight close to midnight after she had to abandon the 8-km roadshow midway due to illness. Senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said her condition was stable after she suffered a bout of dehydration, vomited and had fever in Varanasi. She received medical attention in Varanasi and doctors who attended to her in the holy city accompanied her on the flight back to Delhi.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was at the airport to receive her mother, said she was unwell for the last couple of days but decided against cancelling the programme. She was unwell for the couple of days before but since the programme was there, she was very keen to go, Priyanka said. After landing, Sonia was taken to the RR Hospital, which is close to the airport. Doctors at the Gangaram Hospital were also kept on standby. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Congress’s chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh Sheila Dikshit, who accompanied Gandhi on the road show and inquired about her health. Modi also offered to send a doctor and an aircraft to bring the Congress president back to Delhi, sources said.
Congress sources said Sonia was running fever but decided to go ahead with the roadshow in Varanasi, where her condition worsened, as she was not inclined to cancel it at the last moment.
In a statement, the Congress chief regretted that she could not complete her visit to Varanasi due to illness but said she would come back soon for darshan of Kashi Vishwanath in the temple town. Due to illness, I could not complete my visit for which I regret. I could not seek the blessings of Kashi Vishwanth in the holy month of Savan. I will come back soon. I am thankful to all citizens of Varanasi and Congress workers for the love and affection, she said.