As Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's "short personal trip" a day before party's foundation day has drawn critics' backlash, Randeep Surjewala on Monday clarified that the visit is to meet one of his family members who is unwell. He has not gone on a vacation, added the party's chief spokesperson.
Congress had on Sunday said that Gandhi has left for abroad but did not disclose his destination. Sources said Gandhi left for Milan in Italy on a Qatar Airways flight in the morning. His grandmother stays in Italy and he visited her earlier too.
Besides Rahul, party president Sonia Gandhi also gave a miss to the party's 136th Foundation Day event with senior party leader AK Antony unfurling the flag at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi. A number of senior party functionaries were present at the meeting, including AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Others present included some of the "letter-writers" like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, who had sought an organisational overhaul in the party, besides Sachin Pilot who revolted against the Congress government in Rajasthan sometime ago.
While Sonia Gandhi has been avoiding attending public events, Priyanka did not answer queries on Rahul's absence.