NEW DELHI, Apr 16 : Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday returned home from his 56-day unexplained sabbatical which had raised questions over his leadership of the party that is struggling to find its feet after a string of electoral defeats.
Rahul arrived here at 11:15 am on a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok. He then proceeded to his residence at 12, Tughlaq Lane in central Delhi. The flight, which was scheduled to land at 10.35 am, was delayed by 40 minutes, sources said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were at Rahul's residence to receive him.
While the flight came from Bangkok, but reports claimed that he had only transited through the Thai capital and was either in Vietnam or Yangon in Myanmar.
Earlier reports had suggested that Rahul was in Europe, Bhutan, Uttarakhand among other places.
As the news of his return spread, tens of Congress workers converged outside his residence and celebrated the event.
Missing from action for over a month, the 44-year-old Congress vice president was on a 'leave of absence' since the Budget Session of Parliament that began on February 23.
The party contended Gandhi's absence premised on his need to chart out party's future course in "isolation", adding that Gandhi had requested for "some time to reflect on recent events and the future course for the party".
However, there has been speculation that he was unhappy for not getting a free hand to run the party, a contention which the party has officially denied.
Kisan-Khet Mazdoor Rally
Rahul's return coincides with Congress' planned mega farmers' rally in the national capital on April 19. The rally is being seen as a sort of a comeback announcement of Rahul and a show of strength by the party, which has been strongly opposing changes in the original Act. ?ZEE MEDIA BUREAU