After the break: Congress prepares for leader Rahul Gandhi's 'homecoming' | india | Hindustan Times
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After the break: Congress prepares for leader Rahul Gandhi's 'homecoming'

For nearly two months, social media and the political grapevine have speculated about the Congress vice-president's leave of absence.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2015 14:44 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Congress-vice-president-Rahul-Gandhi-addresses-a-press-conference-in-New-Delhi-AP-Photo
Congress-vice-president-Rahul-Gandhi-addresses-a-press-conference-in-New-Delhi-AP-Photo

A Twitter post, and apparently not a very nice one, summed up the mood in the country succinctly: Rahul Gandhi is getting more attention by his absence than his presence.



For nearly two months, social media and the political grapevine have speculated about the Congress vice-president's

leave of absence

, dissected his "introspection" and analysed his

political future

.



And when the Congress announced his return to active politics, which is on April 17, it almost sounded like the title of a Hollywood movie about a masked crusader.



But given the political exigencies, Rahul is diving headlong into his focus areas for the future: farmers and Dalits.



Congress sources said Rahul's office has planned a series of meetings with farmers from different states on April 17. He is slated to attend a much-touted

'kisan rally'

at the capital's iconic Ramlila Ground on April 19.



"Once the rally is over, Gandhi will meet Dalit leaders to chalk out a plan for Dalit empowerment which includes a roadmap to enhance representation of scheduled castes in the party organisation," said a source.



The Congress will also celebrate BR Ambedkar's 124th birth anniversary through a series of events. "Most of the programmes will be finalised after Gandhi returns," the source added.



Rahul took leave of absence from party president Sonia Gandhi 53 days ago, on the eve of the budget session of parliament to "introspect on the party's future".



Though he missed participating in the opposition's movements against the proposed land acquisition bill, the Congress vice-president's future course of action will have a sharpened focus on farmers, the source said.



Rahul will also go to Amethi, his Lok Sabha constituency for 11 years, soon to meet workers and supporters of the area. As of now, there is no plan for any state visit and his plan for a Bharat Yatra too has been shelved.



Even as Rahul was away to "introspect", his team and office members held regular meetings to plan events. On Monday, a marathon meeting was held on the logistics of the kisan rally.



"There are many requests for appointment. Once he returns, Gandhi will take a call on these requests," the source said.