Sonia, Rahul absent from Parliament

The mother-son duo did not attend Parliament for the first four days, including Thursday. Surprisingly, the UPA chairperson also cancelled her scheduled meeting with the visiting UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The duo apparently did not bother much about the two-line whip that the party issued to be present in the House. The whip was given because the Opposition had been rising the issue of adjournment motion to discuss price rise.

While both are said to be out of Delhi, Rahul left for - ironically–London–though the purpose of his visit is not known. They are said to be out of town “for some compelling reason”. There was also talk of an unspecified emergency.

More than Rahul, the absence of the Congress chief has come as a surprise as she is regular in attending the House and often takes keen interest in its proceedings although she has rarely spoken on the floor.

While their absence has raised a few eyebrows, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari downplayed it. “If she [Sonia] is absent, it means either she is out of Delhi or may be unwell. It is correct that there was an advisory for the members to be present. But the Congress president and the general secretary also have party responsibilities and organisational work. The reasons must have been very compelling (for their absence),” he added.

Sonia’s decision to call off a “call on” by Cameron, who has talked of forging a “special relationship” with India and has brought the largest-ever delegation by a visiting British PM to the country, left British diplomats wondering whether it was a snub to their PM.

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