Sonia Gandhi makes first appearance after surgery | Pakistan Today

Sonia Gandhi makes first appearance after surgery

Sonia Gandhi, president of India’s ruling Congress party, made her first public appearance on Sunday, nearly two months after undergoing surgery in the United States for an undisclosed ailment.
Gandhi, seen as the key powerbroker of Indian politics, paid her respects at a marble memorial to Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi to mark the 142nd anniversary of the birth of the nation’s independence leader.
Sonia Gandhi, the 64-year-old widow of assassinated former premier Rajiv Gandhi, walked around the flower-covered platform and sat on the ground with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and cabinet ministers as priests chanted hymns.
Gandhi, who was operated on in the first week of August, returned to India on September 8 and resumed work a week later.
She is the influential patron of Singh, and is widely accepted to lead the government on daily decision-making and policy issues.
During her absence, Singh was criticised for his handling of a nationwide anti-corruption civil protest campaign that further damaged the graft-tainted government’s reputation.
The Italian-born Gandhi left the memorial site after about 30 minutes having spoken with opposition leaders on a day when India’s fractious political rivalries are traditionally put aside.
Sonia is often said to be preparing the ground for her only son, Rahul, to become prime minister at some stage after Singh, 79, steps down.
Rahul was given joint-charge of the Congress party while she was away but he kept a low profile despite the government’s troubles.
The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which has no link to Mahatma Gandhi, has exerted great influence in India since Jawaharlal Nehru became the country’s first prime minister after independence from Britain in 1947.
Sonia Gandhi led the left-leaning Congress party to a surprise win in 2004 elections, but its second term since 2009 has been beset by corruption scandals, slowing economic growth and accusations of weak leadership.

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