President Pranab Mukherjee was addressing a joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs in the the Budget session of Parliament in New Delhi on Monday, Feb 23.
The session have some key issues up for discussion, especially on six key bills including Coal Mines (Special Provisions), the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition and The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Ordinance.
The party's number two leader's 'leave' comes a blow for the already dejected Congress Party which lost each and every assembly election after Lok Sabha 2014 rout.
Later came the explanation from Congress that Rahul Gandhi has asked his mother Sonia Gandhi to grant him leave for a few weeks to "reflect upon recent events and the future course of the party."
Political pundits doubt the timing of Gandhi's 'decamp', as he was the person whom Congress party expected to counter Narendra Modi government's new found love for Ordinances. In fact, Rahul Gandhi was even expected to take part in Anna Hazare's protest against land ordinance.
Not for the first time
It's not for the first time that Rahul is seen skipping an important event. He has skipped farewell party of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hosted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi in May 2014, and the function to observe Congress party's 130th Foundation Day.
He also invited ire of his supporters who came with cakes outside 24 Akbar Road to celebrate his birthday on June 19, 2009. Rahul was enjoying his holidays in London during that time and which disappointed Congress and his supporters.
Rahul loves holidaying in foreign lands, and don't get amazed if he is found in the alluring places in Spain, London or Switzerland, which is his favourite holiday destinations.
AICC session in April
Rahul Gandhi's pull off comes ahead of the crucial All India Congress Committee (AICC) session expected in April 2015. Political analysts says that even though there are writhe at the working style of Rahul Gandhi and his popularity within the party, he is set to be coronated as the president of the party at the AICC session.
Sonia Gandhi needs break
It is believed that Sonia Gandhi has confided to some leaders that she wants to distance herself from day-to-day work of the party. She believed to have told his party members that she needs rest after the surgery she had in US and really thinks that 44-year-old is ready to shoulder the responsibilities of the party.
Rahul Gandhi ready for challenge
Rahul believes that the direction that the party adopts at the upcoming AICC session will be of crucial importance for its future and he believes that he needs time to reflect on recent events and future course of the party. Sources say that Rahul took leave to prepare himself for the demanding days as a party president.