Indian opposition leader Sonia Gandhi in hospital

The leader of India's main opposition party, Sonia Gandhi, was recovering in a hospital in the capital Wednesday after she fell ill during a roadshow in election-bound Uttar Pradesh state.

"She is stable and recovering. She is sorry that she could not complete her tour of Varanasi but has said she will return there soon," Indian National Congress Party spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

The 69-year-old Gandhi was flown to New Delhi from Varanasi on a chartered flight Tuesday night and admitted to the Army's Research and Referral Hospital, Surjewala said.

Gandhi is the Italian-born widow of slain former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. After his death, she entered politics reluctantly but led the Congress party to successive election triumphs in 2004 and 2009.

Her party lost the 2014 national elections to Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Varanasi is BJP leader and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency.

The Congress party has long kept a careful veil over Gandhi's personal life despite her immense influence.

She flew to the United States for a surgery in 2011, with some Indian news outlets saying she had been treated for cancer. But the party never gave more than cursory information about her illness, calling it a personal matter.

Last update: Wed, 03/08/2016 - 10:16

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