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Rahul Gandhi returns from Italy, BJP says he deserted Congress

Rahul Gandhi returns from Italy, BJP says he deserted Congress

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday arrived home from Italy where he had gone to meet his 93-year-old maternal grandmother.

The Gandhi scion has yet again courted a controversy for not being with his party when it suffered losses in the recently concluded assembly elections in three northeastern states – Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had hit out at the Congress chief for deserting his party workers ahead of the announcement of Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland assembly elections results.

Hitting out at the Congress chief, Union Minister Giriraj Singh had said, “He is not a natural leader, he is a gift of circumstances. He was born to a queen. Once he disappeared for 56 days, today also he has gone. No leader leaves workers at such crucial time. He cannot handle stress.”

Congress, however, came to Rahul Gandhi’s defence, saying it is not a crime to visit one’s grandmother.

Earlier in the day, Rahul took to Twitter and said the Congress respects the mandate of the people of Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya.

The Congress president further said that the leadership was committed to strengthening the party across northeast and winning back the trust of the people.

He tweeted, “The Congress party respects the mandate of the people of Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya. We are committed to strengthening our party across the North East and to winning back the trust of the people. My sincere thanks to each and every Congress worker who toiled for the party.”

Despite having the highest share of seats in the recently held assembly polls in Meghalaya, the Congress has been unable to form the government, as the National People’s Party (NPP)-led coalition bagged 34 seats, thus claiming stake to form the state government under the leadership of Conrad Sangma.

Showcasing a remarkable performance, the BJP and allies swept Tripura and Nagaland with a thumping majority.

ANI