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Gandhi released from hospital

Updated August 27, 2013
Sonia Gandhi - File Photo
Sonia Gandhi - File Photo

NEW DELHI: India's ruling Congress party chief, Sonia Gandhi, was released from hospital on Tuesday, hours after being admitted. She had fever, cold and a headache, a doctor and colleagues said.

Gandhi, 66, was taken to the hospital from the National Parliament.

She had earlier advocated a legislation offering subsidised food to millions of India's poor, and had urged lawmakers to pass the landmark legislation in the National Parliament.

“She complained of a headache and she had a cough,” said a doctor, who did not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

“We checked all her parameters. Once the team of doctors was convinced that she was all right, she was discharged.” He added that she was released at about 3:00 am.

The Food Security Bill, which has been championed by Gandhi, was passed late on Monday night, hours after Gandhi was hospitalized.

She had included it as a manifesto pledge for the elections in 2009.

The bill, which is a flagship $US 18 billion program, was seen as a vote-winner by the ruling Congress party ahead of national polls next year and was adopted in the lower house after a nine-hour debate.

The scheme, which is a milestone in India’s political history, will provide food grain to nearly 70 percent of the population, or 800 million people, for as little as one rupee per kilo.

In a rare speech in parliament, Gandhi told MPs to send a message to the world that India was ready to eradicate malnutrition, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had described as a “national shame”.

“The message which will go out to the country and the rest of the world is clear and concrete: that India is taking responsibility of providing food security of all its citizens,” she said.

Television footage showed Gandhi leaving parliament on Monday evening, escorted by her son, to go to hospital.

“She was feeling uneasy in the parliament,” Congress party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters outside AIIMS hospital.

“She was rushed here to AIIMS. She has gone back home, she is all right and her medical check-up has been completed... there is nothing to worry.”

“She is completely fine,” he added.

In 2011, Gandhi travelled to the United States for surgery for an undisclosed illness, reportedly cancer.

Her health and private life are closely guarded by her advisors.