Congress President Sonia Gandhi has gone to the US, to undergo surgery for a medical condition, which the party did not disclose.
Making a bare announcement, Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi, told reporters in Parliament House that the 64-year-old leader was recently diagnosed with a medical condition and has been advised surgery.
"On the advise of her doctors, she has travelled abroad and she is likely to be away for two-three weeks," he said.
Replying to questions, he said, "We have just got information that the surgery is successful and her condition is satisfactory".
But later he clarified that the surgery has not yet been carried out and that it could take place in a day or two.
The doctors attending on her have to decide, he said.
He announced that Gandhi has decided that in her absence a group comprising Rahul Gandhi and senior leaders AK Antony, Ahmed Patel and Janardhan Dwivedi will look after party affairs.
Highly-placed party sources said Gandhi left India on Wednesday and will be away for two-three weeks.
The party, however, did not say as to in which country she has gone for the surgery or what is the medical condition.
Party sources had said on July 31 that Gandhi is down with viral fever.
Because of her illness, Gandhi could not attend meeting of the Congress Core Group as also that of the Parliamentary Strategy Committee, they had said.