Sonia Gandhi reaches coastal Goa from Delhi on medical advice

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(Eds: adds details) Panaji/New Delhi, Nov 20 (PTI) Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday reached Goa from Delhi for a few days after doctors advised her to get away from the heavy pollution in the national capital in view of her chronic chest infection, party insiders said.

The private flight carrying Sonia Gandhi (73) and her son Rahul Gandhi landed at Dabolim airport in South Goa at 2.50 pm, a police official said. From the airport, they left for a luxury hotel in South Goa, he added.

A Goa Congress leader said the Gandhi family is on a private visit to the coastal state and there are no party engagements lined up during their stay. It is not clear for how long they will be staying in the coastal state, he said.

Congress sources in Delhi said Sonia Gandhi will be in Goa till the air quality improves.

She has been under heavy medication after her discharge from hospital in August and doctors were concerned about her persistent chest infection, they said.

'The Congress president was advised by doctors to shift out of Delhi to a place with cleaner air. The polluted air in Delhi has taken a toll on her health and has aggravated her asthma and chest condition, despite medication.

'On the advice of doctors, she has moved out of Delhi for a few days till the air quality in the national capital improves,' a senior Congress leader told PTI.

Sonia Gandhi's temporary move to Goa comes at a time a section of leaders is seeking introspection over the party's loss in the recent Bihar elections. Some have written to her seeking an organisational overhaul.

The Congress president was admitted to the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi on July 30 evening. Later, on September 12, she went abroad for a few days for a routine medical check-up and was accompanied by her son.

This meant the two leaders missed the monsoon session of Parliament from September 14 to 23, held under special conditions due to coronavirus pandemic.

This is not the first Goa sojourn for the Congress president. She has visited the coastal state many times during the last three years.

In December 2017, a photo of Sonia Gandhi riding a bicycle in Goa was widely shared on social media. In January 2019, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were in Goa on a three-day private visit. PTI SKC RPS MIN VT VT VT