Rahul Gandhi takes charge of 132-yr-old Congress, attacks Narendra Modi for 'medieval' politics

Updated: Dec 17, 2017, 09:42 IST | A correspondent

Rahul Gandhi takes charge of 132-yr-old Congress, attacks PM for indulging in 'medieval' politics

Rahul Gandhi on Sat­urday took charge as the president of Congress in the presence of the 132-year-old party's top brass. The Congress' central election authority (CEA) handed him the certificate of his elevation to the top post during a grand event held at the Congress headquarters.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi greets mother and predecessor Sonia Gandhi after her speech during the grand elevation event in New Delhi
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi greets mother and predecessor Sonia Gandhi after her speech during the grand elevation event in New Delhi 

In his first speech after taking over as the party chief, Rah­ul accused PM Modi of taking the country back to "medieval times". "BJP divides, we bring people together – that is what tells us apart. The Congress took India to the 21st Century, but the PM is taking us back to the medieval times.

Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra at the gala event in New Delhi Pics/PTI
Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra at the gala event in New Delhi Pics/PTI 

I joined politics 13 years ago because of my profound belief in the country and its people. We consider the BJP as our brothers and sisters, but we do not agree with them. It's said that the Congress is a grand old party. We will make it a grand old and young party."

Congress supporters celebrate Rahul Gandhi’s elevation to the post of Congress president in Kolkata on Saturday. pics/PTI
Congress supporters celebrate Rahul Gandhi’s elevation to the post of Congress president in Kolkata on Saturday. Pics/PTI 

Rahul, the sixth member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to take the top position of the 132-year old party, was dubbed the "reluctant prince" by sections of the media in his early years, as Rahul wanted to steer clear of the murky world of politics.

Journey to the top
2004 Rahul enters politics
2007 Appointed general secretary
2013 Made Cong vice-president

Can't speak: Fireworks interrupt Sonia speech

Sonia Gandhi made an emo­tional farewell speech after Rahul Gandhi took over the Congress. But mid way throu­gh her speech, she had to pause as loud crackers burst by Congress workers almost drowned out her voice. The former party chief refused to speak until the crackers stopped. After resuming her speech, Sonia said, "Rahul is my son. So, I do not think to praise him is appropriate for me. But I would say that since childhood he had to bear the brunt of violence. After joining politics he had to face blatant personal attacks that have made him a stronger person."

Not me, my mother will contest from Rae Bareli: Priyanka
Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra on Saturday put to rest the speculation over her con­te­sting the 2019 Lok Sab­ha polls from Rae Bareli, saying her mother Sonia Gandhi would again be in the fray from the Parlia­mentary constituency in UP. "There is no question of me contesting from UP," Priyanka said.

BJP slams Congress
BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi added, "The manner in which Rahul Gandhi criticised BJP wasn't required. It shows they're obsessed with the fear of BJP." Dubbing the Congress as a corrupt party, BJP spoke­sperson Sambit Patra said, "Congress is not an ancient thought process as claimed by a few, rather Congress is a corrupt thought process."

Nation reacts
Tejashwi Yadav, RJD leader The whole nation wants to see Rahul as the next PM

Kamal Haasan, veteran actor and aspiring politician Congratulations Mr Rahul.G. Your seat does not define you but you can define your position. I have admired your elders. I am sure you would work and deserve my admiration too. All the strength to your shoulders

Neeraj Kumar, JD(U) spox Rahul Gandhi is just a symbol of dynasty politics as he succeeded his mother

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PM Narendra Modi wishes Rahul Gandhi on his birthday!

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