NEW DELHI: Sonia Gandhi, leader of India's opposition Congress party, on Tuesday cut short a political rally in northern India due to a high fever, a party official said.
She arrived in Delhi, late on Tuesday night and was received by daughter Priyanka Gandhi and other Congress party functionaries. She was reported to be shifted to hospital upon her arrival.
She was very keen to go, had a bit of strain I guess: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra outside Delhi Airport on Sonia Gandhi pic.twitter.com/GoT64QOj4v— ANI (@ANI_news) August 2, 2016
Sonia ji has arrived & has gone to hospital, stable now. It was dehydration which caused fever: GNAzad, Congress pic.twitter.com/QVrX5LDBke— ANI (@ANI_news) August 2, 2016
According to sources, Gandhi was being treated at the VIP lounge of the Varanasi airport. Banaras Hindu University Medical Superintendent (Sir Sunderlal Hospital) O P Upadhyay said that a consultant medical team from BHU, comprising gastroenterology, cardiology and medicine, were at the airport, to treat Gandhi.
Reports suggest that Gandhi has just reached Delhi. Varanasi CMO BB Singh accompanied her on the flight. It is unclear if she will be taken to the hospital, directly from the airport.
Earlier today, the 69-year-old,had to cut short her roadshow in Varanasi after she fell ill. The roadshow was halted towards the the fag end of the eight-km march route this evening after she fell ill as it wound through the streets of the temple town for nearly three hours.
Spokesman Randeep Surjewala said Gandhi has been suffering from fever for the last few days but decided to campaign for state legislature elections to be held in Uttar Pradesh state early next year.
Sonia Gandhi's Varanasi visit: PM Narendra Modi spoke to Sheila Dikshit & enquired about Sonia Gandhi's health (Continued...)— ANI (@ANI_news) August 2, 2016
PM Modi offered to help out by sending a doctor for a health check of Sonia Gandhi and a plane for transportation back to Delhi (Sources)— ANI (@ANI_news) August 2, 2016
In a statement, Gandhi said, "I am saddened that due to my ill health, I had to cut my visit to Varanasi short. I could not visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple either. I will come back very soon, and then visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple."
The doctors advised her to cut short her visit after which she was supposed to return to the national capital. Later on, she was treated at the Varanasi Airport's VIP Lounge.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted about Gandhi falling sick a few hours back:
Heard about Sonia ji’s ill health during her Varanasi visit today. I pray for her quick recovery and good health.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 2, 2016
During the day, she led a huge procession of her party supporters through the streets of Varanasi, a district represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India's Parliament.
Gandhi is the Italian-born widow of slain former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. After his death, she entered politics reluctantly but led the Congress party to successive election triumphs in 2004 and 2009. But her party lost power to Modi's Hindu nationalist party in 2014.
The Congress party has long kept a veil over Gandhi's personal life despite her immense influence. She flew to the United States for a surgery in 2011. But the party never provided more than cursory information about her condition.
She has been visiting the United States for regular checkups since then.
In 2014, she was hospitalised in New Delhi for treatment of lower respiratory tract infection. A year earlier, Gandhi was rushed to a New Delhi hospital for a few hours after she fell ill during a debate in Parliament.
(With inputs from ANI/PTI/AP)