Senior Congress leader Motilal Vora on Monday hoisted the national flag at the party headquarters in New Delhi in the absence of Sonia Gandhi, who is recuperating in a hospital in the United States.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, All India Congress Committee general secretary Rahul Gandhi, many senior Congress leaders and ministers were present on the occasion.
Rahul Gandhi, who had accompanied his mother to the US, arrived in New Delhi on Sunday. There was much speculation that the young leader, who is part of the four-member committee formed by Sonia Gandhi to look after the party in her absence, will hoist the tri-colour at the party headquarters this time.
Senior party leaders had earlier said that they would request Gandhi to do the honours but in case he declines, the senior-most AICC leader available will unfurl the flag.
Vora had hoisted the national flag at the party headquarters on January 26 last year when Sonia Gandhi was indisposed.
The Congress president has undergone a surgery in the US and is "convalescing well" post operation, said sources.
After the flag-hoisting, the prime minister and Rahul Gandhi distributed sweets to children who attended the function.