Published: Tue, December 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Rahul Gandhi takes charge as Congress president

Rahul Gandhi takes charge as Congress president

Rahul Gandhi was formally appointed Congress president on Saturday morning in a function at party's official headquarters 24, Akbar Road in the national capital, Delhi.

He took over the baton from his 70-year-old mother Sonia Gandhi, as the 87th Congress chief.

Speaking on the occasion he criticized prime minister Narendra Modi for discrimination against Muslims and other minorities and taking the country backwards to the medieval times.

He also said that while the BJP wanted to wipe the Congress from the country's political map, the Congress considered BJP members its brothers and sisters. "But today, politics is not being used in the service of the people, it is being used to crush them, not to lift them up", said Mr. Gandhi.

"I was so nervous that my hands were shaking", the 71-year-old Sonia remembered the day she assumed charge of the party that was hit by factionalism, desertions and virtually on the brink of oblivion in 1998.

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"We are not the ones to bend in fear, because our struggle is a fight for the very soul of this nation". Modi has vowed to create a Congress-free India while working for the rise of Hindu nationalist forces.

In his speech, Gandhi invited the youth to join him in building India and promised to make Congress a grand old and young party. "We will never retreat from this fight", Sonia said. They are members of the Nehru-Gandhi clan, descendants of Jawaharlal Nehru's daughter Indira and Feroze Gandhi, who have dominated Indian politics for decades.

Since then, the party has lost polls in many key states to the BJP, exposing Gandhi to further criticism. "We are now being compelled to imagine that businesses can be built without harmony; that only one man himself is the voice of reason; and that expertise, experience and knowledge can be cast aside for personal glory", Rahul said.

"A fragmented Congress was in power in just three states â€" Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Nagaland and BJP had just been elected to power at the Centre under the leadership of BJP stalwarts, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former Home Minister L K Advani.

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