Sonia, Priyanka reach Shimla for inspecting cottage

Shimla, Aug 22 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her daughter Priyanka Vadra on Saturday reached a tourist resort near here for holidaying and inspecting the latter’s upcoming cottage, an official said.

Gandhi and her daughter reached Oberoi Group’s Wildflower Hall, a landmark luxury hotel on the outskirts of this city, by road from Chandigarh, the official told IANS.

Since the Chandigarh-Shimla national highway was temporarily shut near the state capital owing to landslides, they took another route from Dharampur town. They reached here via Kunihar and Jabbarhatti, said a police official.

The Gandhi family enjoyed the showers in the resort, the official said, adding that the Congress chief and her daughter would return to Delhi on Monday.

The British-era Wildflower Hall resort was once the residence of Lord Kitchener, Field Marshal in the British Army who played a significant role in the early part of World War I.

Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka preferred to keep their visit a private affair, a senior Congress leader said.

Gandhi would inspect the construction work of Priyanka’s five-room cottage at Mashobra located close to The Retreat, the summer holiday resort of President Pranab Mukherjee.

A Delhi-based architect is accompanying them.

Priyanka purchased a three-and-a-half bigha (one bigha is 0.4 hectare) agricultural plot located at a height of more than 8,000 feet amid thick verdant forests of pine and cedar from US-based Satish Kumar Sood and Satinder Sood in 2007.

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