Rahul has been "granted leave of absence for a few weeks after which he will return and resume his active participation in the affairs of the Congress party", party sources said.
They said he has "requested Congress President Sonia Gandhi for some time to reflect on recent events and future course of the party".

Read More: Rahul Gandhi discusses political situation in Bihar with party MLAs

Meanwhile, the absence of AICC vice- president Rahul Gandhi on the first day of the Budget Session invited criticism from BJP which took a dig at Congress saying that it has been reduced to 44 seats in Lok Sabha due its leaders skipping the Parliament in the last one decade.
Without taking Gandhi's name, BJP's youth wing chief and MP Anurag Thakur said Congress has been reduced to 44 seats in the Lok Sabha due to the absence of its leaders in the Parliament in the last one decade.
"They were missing in the last two Lok Sabhas as well. And this is why the Congress has come to 44 seats in Lok Sabha," he told reporters when asked about Gandhi's absence.

There was no official word on what Rahul plans to do or where he was at the moment as speculation raged whether it could be a precursor to his keeping away from politics.
A member of the Lok Sabha from Amethi, he gave a miss to Parliament which commenced its budget session today with the President's address to a joint sitting of both the Houses.

Asked about the sabbatical given to Rahul, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said he has been "given a few weeks. He needs some time."
"Well, the reason is what you have been told," she said in reply to a question whether he has been given time to reflect on recent events and future course of the party as has been told to the media.
While the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena  took jibes at Rahul and Congress revelling in the party's discomfiture, Congress leaders expressed the hope that a break would do him good and that they would continue to look for guidance from Sonia and Rahul.

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