Rahul Gandhi Takes Up As Leader Of India’s Congress Party
India’s Rahul Gandhi takes up as President this Saturday of the main opposition Congress, he’s the sixth member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to head the party that has ruled the country for much of its independent history.
In New Delhi fireworks were witnessed at the party headquarter Rahul, was seen wearing a long flowing white kurta, smiled and waved from the rostrum adorned with posters of his late grandmother and father, former prime ministers Indira and Rajiv Gandhi. Chanting Slogans of “long live Rahul” were heard powerfully.
“I accept this position with the deepest humility, with the knowledge that I will always be walking in the shadow of giants,” Gandhi said in his acceptance speech which quickly became an attack on Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“The Congress party took us into the 21st century but the Prime Minister today is taking us backwards to the medieval times where people are butchered for who they are, beaten for what they believe and killed for what they eat,” he said.
The Modi government has been under fire in the past several months for an increase in inter-faith violence, including attacks by vigilantes largely targeting Muslims for allegedly consuming beef or killing cows which are sacred to Hindus.
Rahul Gandhi became Congress vice-president in 2013 and led the campaign for the 2014 election, in which the party recorded its worst-ever showing as it lost power to Modi’s BJP. Since then, the party has lost polls in many key states to the BJP, exposing Gandhi to further criticism.
“Personal attacks on my son have made him fearless. I am sure he will lead the party with exemplary courage,” Sonia said to loud applause from party supporters who arrived in busloads for the ceremony.