India

India's Rahul Gandhi returns after break from politics

Rahul Gandhi Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Rahul Gandhi is the heir of the powerful Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty

India's main opposition Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi has returned to Delhi after a leave of absence of nearly two months.

Mr Gandhi is expected to speak at a meeting of farmers on Sunday.

Mr Gandhi's break from politics created a stir on social media and and sparked a series of memes and jokes. The BJP government accused him of "holidaying" while parliament was in session.

Mr Gandhi led his party to its worst performance in May's general election.

Reports said Mr Gandhi was received at his home by his mother and party chief Sonia Gandhi and sister, Priyanka Gandhi.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Mr Gandhi's absence has been derided on Twitter
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Gandhi campaigned extensively in Delhi state assembly elections shortly before his leave of absence

Mr Gandhi is likely to make his first public appearance on Sunday at a rally of farmers to protest against the government's controversial land acquisition bill.

His absence led to speculation about his whereabouts and triggered a series of derisory comments on websites like Twitter. It is not clear where he spent his break from politics.

Mr Gandhi, 44, is from the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty that has dominated Indian politics for decades.

The Congress party has suffered a series of election setbacks since it lost power in May last year.

Some Congress leaders have suggested that Mr Gandhi formally take over from his mother, party President Sonia Gandhi.

Other say he remains aloof from party workers, and have called for his sister Priyanka Gandhi to take a more prominent role in politics.

However, Ms Gandhi has shown no inclination to join the party.

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