Rahul Gandhi’s Personal background and complete Biography
Rahul Gandhi was born on 19 June, 1970 in Delhi as son of Rajeev and Sonia Gandhi. His mother, Sonia Gandhi, was originally hails from Italy and now holds an Indian citizenship. His younger sister Priyanka Vadra who got married to Robert Vadra who is a businessman. Rahul Gandhi’s initial schooling was in St. Columba’s School in Delhi. After that from year 1981 to 1983, he continued his studied in The Doon School in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
A series of incidents happened which impacted Rahul and his family directly. The assassination of Indira Gandhi on 31 October, 1984 led Rajiv Gandhi to enter the world of politics. He then subsequently became the Prime Minister of India. Whole Gandhi family, including the children, faced security threats from extremists of the Sikh community because of which Rahul and his sister Priyanka did rest of their schooling from home. In year 1989, Rahul joined St. Stephen’s College in Delhi but after completing first year, he shifted to the Harvard University. Unfortunately, in year 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was being assassinated by the extremist outfit LTTE. Again, due to security reasons, Rahul Gandhi had to shift to Rollins College, Florida, where he completed his Bachelors in year 1994. During this time, he had to changed his identity as pseudonym Raul Vinci. Only security agencies and university officials knew of his real identity other than them all knew him with that changed identity. In year 1995, he has completed his M.Phil. in Development Studies from the Trinity College of Cambridge.
Rahul Gandhi informed the press in year 2004 that he has a Spanish girlfriend Veronique Cartelli, who is an architect by profession and lives in Venezuela.
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Professional background of Rahul Gandhi
After he done with his graduation, Rahul Gandhi worked for Monitor Group in London for three years, which is a management guru Michael Porter’s consulting firm. After returning to India in late 2002, Rahul Gandhi has started his own firm and became the director of a technology outsourcing firm, Backops Services Private Ltd. Which was set up by him and it was Mumbai based.
Rahul Gandhi Elections result
Rahul’s Entry into Politics
Rahul Gandhi has entered Indian politics in March 2004. He announced publicly that he will contest in the May 2004 Lok Sabha elections from the constituency of Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, from where his father had also contested earlier. At that time, his mother Sonia Gandhi was holding that seat and later on she then moved to the neighbouring constituency of Rae Bareilly. During this time the situation of the Congress party was not so good and it was holding only 10 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and it was alarming situation for congress. This announcement has generated mixed reactions among different political associates. The political commentators regarded Priyanka more charismatic and even started comparing her to her grandmother Indira Gandhi. They started giving their opinion that there is greater likelihood that Priyanka would be more successful in the endeavour, while others thought that this move would kindle the Congress party’s fortune, and the presence of one of the young members of India’s most famous political family would usher hope of entering the politics among the young generation. Rahul Gandhi in his first ever foreign media interview conveyed that he condemns “divisive” politics in India. He said that he would work as a uniting force and try to reduce tensions cropping out of religion and caste issues in the country. Rahul Gandhi won that elections and again retained the family stronghold.
Rahul Gandhi’s Win from Amethi in 2014
Despite the tough competition from competitors like Aam Aadmi Party’s Kumar Vishwas and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Smriti Irani, surprisingly Congress Vice President and fifth-generation politician Rahul Gandhi won his seat at Amethi in Uttar Pradesh by a margin of 1,07,903 votes in the year 2014 Lok Sabha elections. This win came out by defeating all the attacks from the BJP’s prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi that Rahul lacked leadership qualities and had “only entertainment value” in him and the media’s predicted that he has no chance in the election.
Rahul Gandhi’s win in Amethi has putted him in a strong position in the political scenario of India. His win, however, came out as a surprise to his detractors who had pointed out many areas which were having lack of development in Amethi since Rajiv Gandhi’s time. The media had reported that Rahul Gandhi had not done anything for the constituency to better the health, education, roads and sanitary condition of the place to improve their lives. It may be said that the people have shown faith in the Nehru-Gandhi family only because of the past where Gandhi family who have been representing Amethi for over forty years. Rahul Gandhi himself has won from the constituency twice in his ten-year political career firstly in the year 2004 parliamentary election and second in year 2009 Uttar Pradesh legislative election
Rahul Gandhi’s political journey and achievements
- In the year 2004, Rahul was elected to the Lok Sabha from the constituency of Amethi.
- Rahul Gandhi has started accompanying his mother, Sonia Gandhi to different public events and Congress party meetings during elections.
- In year 2006, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra together managed the election campaigning for their mother Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli, and finally their efforts turned into victory.
- Rahul Gandhi was a one of the prominent party figures who campaigned in the 2007 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
- In September 2007, he became the General Secretary of the Indian Youth Congress and along with that also of National Students’ Union of India.
- In his continuous efforts to reform youth politics in November 2008, he conducted interviews at his residence in New Delhi to select at least 40 people to form the think-tank of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC).
- The Indian Youth Congress and National Students Union of India, under his guidance, have seen a substantial increase in members from 2,00,000 to 25,00,000 which was a good sign for him.
- Rahul Gandhi has made a victory and retained his seat in the constituency of Amethi in 2009 Lok Sabha elections. He was acknowledged and appreciated as a contributor in the revival of Congress party in Uttar Pradesh where the party won 20 Lok Sabha seats out of 80. In six weeks, he had travelled across the nation and addressed at 125 rallies.
- Rahul Gandhi was arrested on 11 May 2011 in Bhatta Parsaul village by the Uttar Pradesh police as he was supporting flustered farmers who were demanding more compensation against acquisition of their land which was done for a highway project.
- During the year 2012 Assembly elections, he campaigned in Uttar Pradesh for almost two months, holding 200 rallies in total. Congress won 28 seats in the state, which was 6 seats more compared with the year 2007 elections. However, the party than acquired fourth position in the state.
- Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Vadra travelled to Pakistan with intention of goodwill visit to watch the first cricket series between India and Pakistan after almost14 years.
- On 19 January 2013, Rahul Gandhi was appointed as the Congress Vice President in a party conclave of the All India Congress Committee in Jaipur. Officially, he was ranked second in the party just after his mother, Sonia Gandhi, who is the president of the party.
- Rahul Gandhi has finally won from Amethi constituency in the year 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
- In the year 2016, the RSS filed a defamation suit against Rahul Gandhi for claiming that the former has killed Mahatma Gandhi. As on 2 September, 2016, Rahul has said he stands by his remark and will going to fight his case in court.
Criticisms faced by Rahul Gandhi
Taking a note at BJP and its leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has referred himself as “Pappu” on a few occasions recently to drive a point stating that he has represented a polite and civilised face of politics unlike the ruling party. But the word has stuck with them for over five years.
Pappu became a mock-name for Rahul Gandhi in the run up to year 2014 Lok Sabha elections. All BJP leaders, workers and a committed band of supporters has made sure that even a Google search for “Pappu” returned with the profile of Rahul Gandhi. And, if anyone goes by the talks in reporter’s corridor, the term originated in the old guard of the Congress leadership, some of whom had once welcomed Sonia Gandhi in 1998-99 as “Gudiya”.
After the Lok Sabha elections, there was virtual revolt in the Congress party with many state leaders who were showing their lack of faith in Rahul Gandhi. Former Congress MP Late Gufran Azam from Madhya Pradesh wrote a letter to the party president Sonia Gandhi in July 2014. He wrote, “In our country almost all parents dream to see their child becoming a doctor or engineer. But some wishes can never get fulfilled because their child is unfit in the profession their child to opt for. Parents should not force them to be successful. You (Sonia Gandhi) wished to make him (Rahul) a leader and devoted 10 years for it. But you unfortunetly failed in making him a leader. You even failed to make him learn how to deliver a speech in proper way. He failed to acquire political acumen. He remains the same. We are fade up hearing people address him as ‘Pappu’ and ‘Munna’. We feel ashamed for the same.”
In June 2017, another Congress leader – Vinay Pradhan from Uttar Pradesh – referred his own party’s vice-president as Pappu, although to shower praise on him. He once wrote in party’s local WhatsApp group stating that: “Rahul Gandhi is also known as Pappu by a large section of people in this country, Pappu could have easily become the Prime Minister of this country but he failed in becoming so.” Pradhan was later removed from all party positions.
It is however, certain that people used the word Pappu first to mock Rahul Gandhi. Some have attributed this word for AAP leader Kumar Vishwas, who contested from Amethi in 2014 Lok Sabha elections against Rahul Gandhi. Some other have attributed this remark to self-styled great godman and rape accused Asaram, who reportedly mocked Rahul Gandhi once as Pappu at a public rally around 2012-13.
In the parallel world of governance, the UPA had entered the phase of “policy paralysis”, and then decision making had become slow and it has blamed Rahul Gandhi’s activism. Some of the senior Congress leaders has made comments stating and indicating that Rahul Gandhi is a “part-time” politician. In July 2012, Digvijay Singh used to considered as Rahul Gandhi’s mentor – said, “He (Rahul) has been confining himself into student politics and youth politics. He must come into the mainstream of Congress party.” Comments like this has established Rahul Gandhi as an unwilling politician.
In the year 2013 saw “Pappu” permanently stuck to Rahul Gandhi. He has addressed the Confederation of Indian Industries on April 3, 2013 in New Delhi. On the same day, the top trending topic on Twitter in India was #PappuCII. The electrified IT Cell of the BJP left no stone unturned to make a “Pappu” out of Rahul Gandhi.
In October 2013, Amit Shah-best known till then as Narendra Modi’s side – also referred Rahul Gandhi as Pappu when election campaign for 2014 polls was being relaunched by the BJP. He said, “May be Congress party thinks and believes that the prime minister’s chair is Pappu’s birthright. But this is a democracy, and to become a ruler in the nation you need people’s blessings, and people’s blessings are with Narendra Modi. We have declared our PM candidate (Narendra Modi). Who will be the Congress candidate? Pappu? No, not at all they won’t make Pappu their candidate as they are afraid of losing.”
Congress showcased Rahul Gandhi as their face of future in November 2007 at its plenary session in Delhi’s Talkatora Stadium. People who were expecting from him to deliver a speech like his father Rajiv Gandhi did 22 years ago in 1985 on the centenary of the Congress returned home disappointed with sad faces. Rahul’s speech was kind of abstract devoid of politics. As a Sample, like: “What, after all, is poverty,” Rahul Gandhi asked a delegation of about 3000 Congress workers before answering this question, “A poor person is one who is denied the opportunity to become rich.”
Same year, in 2007, a Bollywood film released titled, Pappu Paas Ho Gaya following a two-year-old TV advertisement for a chocolate brand. This was done to change the meaning attached to old Indian nickname that carried the meaning of an innocent boy to a dumb person. In year 2008, another Bollywood movie had a chartbuster song, Pappu Can’t Dance Sala.
Delhi went to polls in 2008 and the Delhi Election Commission (DEC) ran an ad-campaign during election with a hash tag, Pappu Can’t Vote. The DEC decided to re-run the same ad-campaign for 2009 Lok Sabha elections. This enforced the notion that “Pappus” are only supposed to do idiotic things when important works are pending.
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