Sonia cycles during ‘de-stress’ vacation in Goa

Panaji, Dec 28 (IANS) Days after relinquishing Congress affairs to her son, former party chief Sonia Gandhi is on a “de-stress” vacation in Goa, and an image of her cycling at a resort here has created waves on the social media.

Sonia Gandhi, who arrived here after Christmas, is likely to stay here till early January, after ringing in the New Year. This is her third vacation in Goa this year.

The 71-year-old leader — who guided the destiny of the Indian National Congress for 19 years – took time off to enjoy riding a bicycle on the seafacing lawns of five-star resort-hotel, The Leela Goa, in Varca, a sleepy village in south Goa, surprising the hotel’s guests, staffers and outsiders.

Attired in a long white kurta and dark leggings, she smiled warmly as some guests requested her for pictures and others posed for selfies beside her, and chatted with locals and foreigners.

Though some reports speculate that Sonia Gandhi has come with some close friends, this could not be officially confirmed from either the party in Goa or New Delhi.

“Some pictures make you happy. This is one of them,” said Bollywood actor-producer Riteish Deshmukh, who uploaded a picture on his Facebook account of Sonia cycling and wished her “happiness and best of health”.

Many on social media even commented that for a change, it was Sonia and not Rahul whose vacation is in the limelight and while most “liked” it, some also smirked at her pictures.

When contacted, Goa Pradesh Congress President Shantaram Naik told IANS he was “not aware of her visit, since it was private, and she could not be disturbed at all for anything”.

Incidentally, Rahul Gandhi addressed the 133rd Congress Foundation Day in New Delhi on Thursday for the first time as Congress President.

In the past, Rahul Gandhi had raked up controversies for his “vacations” abroad and critics had even labelled him a “part-time” politician.