New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, with Rahul Gandhi by his side, held confabulations with senior party leaders at the AICC headquarters in the backdrop of the political controversy surrounding developments over Anna Hazare's proposed fast.

The Prime Minister and Rahul were huddled with senior party leaders including Pranab Mukherjee, Ambika Soni and Janardan Dwivedi at the 24, Akbar Road office of Congress President Sonia Gandhi after hoisting the national flag there.

It was Rahul's first public appearance since the Congress President went abroad for surgery a fortnight back. Rahul and his sister Priyanka were accompanying the Congress President during her treatment in the US.

The Congress General Secretary, who is in the four-member committee constituted by Sonia to look after party affairs in her absence, also had talks with many senior leaders and Union ministers present there.

Party leaders, however, remained tightlipped over the meeting or the talks. "I have no knowledge," Soni said when asked whether senior leaders had any meeting with Rahul.

Party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi also declined to answer queries as to why Rahul's meeting with the Prime Minister went on for such a long time. "When senior leaders sit, it gets longer some times," was his refrain.

After Rahul's meeting with the Prime Minister, another meeting took place in Congress treasurer Motilal Vora's office in which Soni, Dwivedi and Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel participated.

But, there was no official word on what transpired.

Sonia Gandhi 'much better': Rahul

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who underwent surgery in the US recently for an unspecified ailment, is "much better".
This was stated by Rahul Gandhi, who returned here yesterday after attending to his mother.

"She is much better," Rahul told reporters on Monday. Sonia had left earlier this month for the US, where she underwent successful surgery.

The Congress President had not attended meetings of the Congress Core Group as also that of the Parliamentary Strategy Committee as she had not been keeping well.

(Agencies)