Poor air quality forces Sonia Gandhi to shift out of Delhi on doctors’ advice

Congress president Sonia Gandhi will fly out of Delhi on Friday after doctors advised her to shift out of the national capital in view of the heavy pollution and poor air quality that has aggravated her chest infection, people aware of the matter said.

A senior Congress functionary said the doctors also advised her to shift to a warmer place for some time till the air quality improves in Delhi. “Two places have been identified—the outskirts of Chennai and Goa—for the purpose,” he said.

Sonia Gandhi, 73, will be accompanied by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. She had made a brief appearance at the Indira Gandhi Memorial on Thursday to pay tribute to the late Prime Minister on her 103rd birth anniversary.

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“Mrs Gandhi has chronic chest infection for over a month now and it is not improving because of hazardous air quality in Delhi. The heavy pollution has aggravated her asthma and her chest condition. Accordingly, doctors advised her to shift out of Delhi till air quality improves,” said the functionary on the condition of anonymity.

Sonia Gandhi was admitted to the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi on July 30 after chairing a meeting of the party’s Rajya Sabha members. “She has been under heavy medication pursuant to her discharge from hospital in August,” added the functionary.

On September 12, Sonia Gandhi, accompanied by Rahul Gandhi went to the United States for a few days for her routine medical check-up. The two missed the monsoon session of Parliament from September 14 to 23.

Before leaving for the United States, Sonia Gandhi had carried out major organisational changes, reconstituted the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and her team of office bearers, and also formed a special panel to help her in organisational and operational matters.

Sonia Gandhi is going out of Delhi at a time when there are rumblings in the Congress over the debacle in Bihar assembly elections and bypolls in several states with the group of 23 dissenters, who had written a letter to the party chief in August this year, seeking organisational overhaul, calling for introspection over electoral setbacks.

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