BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
New Delhi: Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi is recovering after undergoing a “successful” surgery for an undisclosed medical condition abroad, a party spokesman has said.
Janardhan Dwivedi said that the “surgery is over, and the surgeon had indicated that it was successful.” Gandhi was “likely to be away for two to three weeks,” he said.
Gandhi, 64, is India’s most powerful politician. She holds no official post. But many consider her the de facto head of the government.
Dwivedi said Mrs Gandhi was recovering in an intensive care unit of a hospital.
India has some of the best medical facilities and doctors in the world and speculation is rife as to why Mrs Gandhi chose to go elsewhere for surgery.
Some reports suggest she may need specialist treatment not yet available in India, but these are unconfirmed.
“As this is a personal matter that pertains to her health and medical treatment, her family requests that her privacy be respected,” Mr Dwivedi said.
Earlier on Thursday, Dwivedi said that Mrs Gandhi had “been recently diagnosed with a medical condition that requires surgery”.
Correspondents say her absence comes at a critical time for the government as it deals with corruption scandals and high price rises.
Gandhi has named a four-member team to run party affairs during her absence, he said. The team includes her son and MP Rahul Gandhi, who is tipped as a future prime minister.
Gandhi’s absence from the parliament on Monday was remarked upon in the Indian media, but explained by a “viral infection” from which she was said to be suffering.
Italian-born Gandhi is the widow of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. She nominated Manmohan Singh to the prime minister’s post in 2004 and is widely believed to be more powerful than him.
The powerful Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has ruled India for most of the time since the country gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947.