India's ruling party chief Gandhi in hospital with fever

NEW DELHI (AFP) - The chief of India's ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi was admitted to hospital on Tuesday evening suffering from a fever, a party leader said.

Mrs Gandhi, who intervened hours earlier in Parliament to urge lawmakers to pass a flagship scheme offering subsidised food for the poor, was taken to the leading AIIMS hospital in the capital.

"Madam had a fever," Congress parliamentarian Renuka Chowdhury told the Zee News channel, adding that "she needs some rest".

The health of Mrs Gandhi, 66, was last in the news in August 2011, when she went to the United States for surgery for an undisclosed illness, reportedly cancer. Her health and private life are jealously guarded by her advisers.

Other television reports citing unnamed sources said Mrs Gandhi had complained of chest pains and had been admitted as a precaution.

Ms Chowdhury said Mrs Gandhi had been "working under tremendous stress, otherwise she is all right".

Late on Monday, India's Parliament passed the Food Security Bill, which has been championed by the Congress leader who included it as a manifesto pledge for the last elections in 2009.

She was filmed leaving Parliament in the company of her son who escorted her to AIIMS, reports said.