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Rahul Gandhi returns from foreign holiday, meeting party leaders today

New Delhi: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who was on a foreign holiday over the first week of the new year, is back in the national capital. Gandhi, who arrived in the country Monday night, is meeting party leaders today.

On December 31, Gandhi's official Twitter handle @OfficeOfRG had tweeted that he would be travelling 'over the next few days' but did not reveal where he was going. The Congress leader is known to go for short holidays during the new year.

Rahul left at a critical time when five states, including the politically crucial Hindi heartland of Uttar Pradesh, is scheduled to go to polls from February 4.

His arrival was eagerly awaited by many. Navjot Singh Sidhu, ex-BJP leader, has expressed his desire to join the Congress in the presence of Rahul Gandhi. sidhu, who left the BJP months ago, will most likely fight the elections from Amritsar East, a constituency currently held by his wife.

Gandhi's absence from the political scene also came at a time when the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh has been locked in a bitter power struggle between factions led by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh.

Earlier there were rumors suggesting that Akhilesh, in the event of a split from his father, would ally with the Congress, but considering the fact that the SP leader has been named the party's chief ministerial candidate, it seems improbable.