Sonia Gandhi discharged from hospital after falling ill during India parliament debate


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The Independent Online

Sonia Gandhi, the leader of India's ruling Congress Party and the country's most powerful politician, has been released from a hospital after becoming ill during a debate in Parliament, the health minister has confirmed.

Gandhi underwent a series of medical tests during the five hours she spent in the hospital after being admitted late yesterday and was then allowed to return home, Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters.

Gandhi had been suffering from fever for two days, but went ahead to deliver a parliamentary speech on Monday in support of a landmark bill that proposes to provide cheaper grain to more than 800 million across the country.

The 67-year-old reportedly began feeling unwell during the nine-hour long debate on the food security bill in the lower house of Parliament and was escorted to a hospital by her son Rahul and other Congress party colleagues.

"She is perfectly fine. There is nothing to worry," Azad said. He said doctors at the hospital have advised her to stay rested for a few days.

Gandhi is the Italian-born widow of slain former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. After his death, she entered politics reluctantly but has led the Congress party to successive election triumphs in 2004 and 2009.

Additional reporting by Associated Press