The 69-year-old leader arrived 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 that her condition was stable after she suffered a bout of “dehydration, vomited and had fever” in Varanasi.
ANI reported that the Congress president was adviced by doctor to return as her health condition deteriorated. Several other reports, quoting sources, said that the road show was terminated mid-way as Sonia was down with fever. However, UP Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said that Sonia was fine but just a “little tired”. “Sonia ji is completely fine, she just felt a little tired..She (Sonia Gandhi) will be completely fine and will see Modi govt’s eradication to its end,” ANI quoted him as saying.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also commented on the the Congress president’s health. “Heard about Sonia ji’s ill health during her Varanasi visit today. I pray for her quick recovery and good health,” he tweeted. The road show on Modi’s turf was organised as part of Congress’ ’27 saal, UP behaal’ campaign as the party aims to win the 2017 Asembly elections and make a comeback in the state after a gap of 27 years. Sonia arrived in Varanasi at around 11 am. Just upon her arrival, Congress’ chief ministerial candidate in the stae said “we are here to change the face of UP.” The roadshow started at around 2 pm with the Congress president garlanding BR Ambedkar’s statue at the circuit house in the city. While a large crowd was out with banners in support of Congress, slogans against Modi government were heard. Multiple placards and trucks bearing posters of ’27 Saal, UP Behaal’ (27 years of UP’s distress) were also spotted across the city.
According to sources, Sonia Gandhi in her speeches was to target Modi govt’s failures in regard to Varanasi, inflation rate and other communal tensions which have taken place in BJP’s regime. Congress has appointed Sheila Dikshit as the chief ministerial candidate for the UP elections. Ahead of the roadshow, Dikshit said, “law and order in the state under the SP has worsened and the recent incident of Bulandshahr was highly condemnable. Congress wants to rid the state of SP, BSP and BJP misrule of the last 27 years and put it on the path towards development.”
“I will be fortunate to get a chance to serve my own state, Uttar Pradesh. I will put in my best efforts for its betterment. I am 78 but my age is not an issue till the time I am willing to work,” added Dikshit.