Rahul Gandhi to leave for US today to be with ailing mother Sonia

Sonia Gandhi went abroad on March 8 night. She took ill in August last year during a road show in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and has remained out of public gaze ever since.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will be leaving for the United States today to be with his ailing mother Sonia.

A statement released by senior Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi is travelling abroad for a health check-up. Congress Vice President, Shri Rahul Gandhi, shall travel there today to be with her and accompany Congress President on the return journey."

Usually, it is either Rahul or daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who accompany their mother for her treatment abroad, but due to the Assembly elections this year, the Congress president travelled alone to the US.

Sonia Gandhi went abroad on March 8 night. She took ill in August last year during a road show in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and has remained out of public gaze ever since.

Because of her illness, Sonia Gandhi did not even campaign during the recent elections in five states, including Uttar Pradesh.

RAHUL'S TRIP AMID CONGRESS INTROSPECTION

Rahul's trip abroad comes amid calls within the party for "structural change" after the Congress's disastrous showing in the crucial election in Uttar Pradesh, where the party won just seven seats.

Earlier today, veteran Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar also said there is a need to bring change in the Congress leadership.

"The place that we once had in India's polity is now diminished," Aiyar said. He suggested that young leaders should be made Congress General Secretaries while "the old experienced people" should be in the Congress Working Committee.