The Congress on Thursday dismissed as "canards of vested interests" speculation that Rahul Gandhi has extended his sabbatical and asked people to respect his privacy.
"We would urge friends of media not to believe canards being spread by vested interests. Respect the privacy of Gandhi and his decision to introspect for strengthening the Congress party by taking a regular leave from Congress president and leadership.
"As and when we have information, we will let you know," party spokesperson and in-charge of Communication Department Randip Surjewala said amid speculation that the Congress Vice President has extended his leave and will now come back only after the end of the month.
Talk in the party is that Rahul would be back after March 20, when the first half of the Budget Session ends. This means that he will miss the whole Budget Session of Parliament.
While a party spokesperson had earlier said that Rahul had taken two weeks leave, the two-week time has already come to an end. When asked about it, another party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi had on Tuesday said that nobody has given any specific time frame of his leave.
Singhvi had also said that irrespective of wherever he is, Rahul is deeply involved in the decision making in the party including in some recent changes.
Rahul had gone on leave before the beginning of the Budget Session leading to a lot tongue wagging in the political circles amid indications that he was unhappy over not being given a free hand to run the party.
The party had earlier said that Rahul "requested Congress President Sonia Gandhi for some time to reflect on recent events and future course of the party".
His leave had come amid speculation that he may be elevated as Congress president at the AICC meet likely in April.