Rahul Gandhi to lead Congress, Generational shift on cards

Rajat Kain

File photo of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi at Congress headquarter in New Delhi on 15th August 2017.  PTI

File photo of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi at Congress headquarter in New Delhi on 15th August 2017.
PTI

Rahul Gandhi has been elected as the next president of Congress party, India’s oldest political party. He is currently the vice president of his party and will formally take charge from his mother and the incumbent chief Sonia Gandhi on December 16.

The All India Congress Committee’s Central Election Authority officially announced Rahul Gandhi as the President of the Indian National Congress this afternoon.

“89 nomination papers proposing the name of Shri Rahul Gandhi for Congress president have been received. All the nomination papers have been found valid,” said a press release signed by senior Congress leader Mullappally Ramchandran.

The release also read that no other candidate was in fray.

“Since the withdrawal of date/time is over and as there is only one candidate (Rahul), as per Article XVII (d) of the Constitution of Indian National Congress, I hereby declare Shri Rahul Gandhi elected as president of the Indian National Congress,” Ramachandran said.

Ahmedabad: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi addressing representatives of the public health sector in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Nov 24, 2017. Photo - PTI

Ahmedabad: Rahul Gandhi addressing representatives of the public health sector in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Nov 24, 2017.
Photo – PTI

Rahul Gandhi, who has been vice president of the party since January 2013, was tipped to succeed Sonia Gandhi for some time now. Sonia, who took over the charge in 1998, has been a longest president of the Congress party.

With the process, he has become fifth member of his family to take reigns of the Congress party, following Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

Often referred to as a grand old party, Congress is today facing a stiff electoral challenge from the ruling BJP at all levels – from panchayat, taluka to state to national and a larger issue of revival.

Reduced to just 44 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, which were largely fought under the campaign design of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress has since lost string of state assembly polls, some of them its strongholds for decade, to the BJP.

Post his takeover, the Congress is expected to undergo an organisational revamp as well, ascending a new generation of Congress leaders into political landscape of the country.