CDS Bipin Rawat's demise: Sonia Gandhi's will not celebrate her birthday today
Sonia Gandhi, who was born on December 9, 1946, is one of the Congress party's longest-serving leaders
The terrible death of General Bipin Rawat in a chopper crash has rocked the country. Sonia Gandhi, the interim President of the Congress, has decided not to celebrate her birthday today due to the tragic death of India's first Chief of Defence Staff (December 9).
KC Venugopal, the Party's General Secretary for Organization, had said the day before, "Congress President has decided not to celebrate her birthday, tomorrow, the 9th December. Urging party workers and supporters to strictly avoid any celebrations."
Sonia Gandhi, who was born on December 9, 1946, is one of the party's longest-serving leaders, having served from March 1998 to December 2017, and is credited with bringing the party back to power in 2004. She was appointed interim party chief in August 2019 after her son and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi resigned following the party's humiliation in the 2019 general elections. She stepped down as party chief in December 2017 in favour of her son and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi.
According to insiders, plans were underway to celebrate Sonia's birthday at the Congress headquarters, but they were halted after Sonia's appeal.
On December 8, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat paid a visit to Defence Services Staff College in Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address faculty and student officers of the Staff Course. General Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, his DA Brigadier LS Lidder, and SO Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, among other defence officials, had taken off from Sulur Airbase for Wellington. The Indian Air Force claimed in a tweet that "about midday today, an IAF Mi 17 V5 chopper with a crew of four personnel transporting the CDS and nine other passengers met with a terrible accident near Coonoor, TN." The only survivor of the incident, Group Captain Varun Singh, SC, Directing Staff of DSSC, is being treated for his injuries at Military Hospital in Wellington.