Rahul Gandhi History: Complete political journey
Rahul Gandhi’s elevation was inevitable i.e. Congress leaders admitted it was just a matter of when he was willingly ready to accept the “bigger role.” He is the great-grandson of India’s first Prime Minister, the grandson of first woman Prime Minister, the son of youngest Prime Minister and also of the party’s longest-serving chief, Sonia Gandhi overall a man with good political background family. Congressmen expected him to head the party and also to be India’s Prime Minister one day.
Rahul Gandhi was born in Delhi on June 19, 1970, to Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi, as their first child. He is the young man who grew up in the non-political part of the family. Rajiv Gandhi, his father, a commercial pilot, was not Indira Gandhi’s intended political heir but his uncle, Sanjay Gandhi was. But Sanjay Gandhi died in a plane crash in 1980, then forcing a reluctant Rajiv Gandhi to enter politics. Just four years later, in 1984, Indira Gandhi’s assassination has propelled him to the forefront of the Congress and saw him becoming India’s youngest Prime Minister at age of 40 only.
Just twenty years later, Rahul Gandhi, then 34years of age, was another reluctant entrant into the world of the political fray. Rahul Gandhi has firstly fought the Lok Sabha elections in 2004, contesting from the traditional family constituency of Rahul Gandhi Amethi, which once his father had held. As he campaigned, Amethi embraced him warmly, fondly just making comparisons between father and son. The people of Amethi had no doubt then that by supporting Rahul they are sending India’s future Prime Minister to Parliament.
In an electoral upset, the Congress wrested power that the year from than BJP-led NDA and has not let go since. In the nine years of UPA rule, there was much speculation after every few months that Rahul Gandhi would join the government or accept a fancy designation within the party. But unfortunately, he only became one of the party’s general secretaries in September 2007 and accepted the charge of the Indian Youth Congress and National Students Union of India (NSUI).
His supporters insist that he must be appreciated for initiating reforms in the party such as elections to the Youth Congress, corporate-style interviews for selection to the party, and pushing for a democratisation of the Congress party.
But there have been persistent question marks over Rahul Gandhi’s ability to translate his personal charisma and ideas for the party into votes when it matters to the election. He chose winning back Uttar Pradesh (UP) once a Congress stronghold and where it has been out of power for a long while as the centre-piece of his electoral agenda. He has also made several high-profile visits to the homes of Dalits in the state to win their support. He then even took a British foreign secretary David Miliband on one of his rural night-stays in UP. But, in both 2007 and 2012, he was unable to help the Congress with any post significant gains.
In the year 2012, in fact, Congress got 4 seats just less than it did in 2007, winning just 28 out of the 404, despite the much-touted ‘Rahul factor’.
Rahul Gandhi than took the blame squarely on the chin. He made a rare appearance before television cameras and said, “I led this campaign from the front, and all the responsibility for the loss lies with me.”
UP was not Rahul Gandhi’s first electoral misadventure. In the year 2010, in Bihar Assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi’s has famously urged the Congress to fight alone, without alliances. The Congress won just 4 seats out of 243-seat Assembly. His political rivals smirked and was questioning his political acumen and ability to deliver electoral success for the party.
Congress defended him stoutly. Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid had then said, “Rahul Gandhi came into the campaign with an attitude of courage. He said, ‘I am going there to build the Congress, and not to fight and win an election. It is too early to fight and win an election for him.”
He has faced criticism on being reticent about sharing his views on crucial issues. Recently, he was panned for his belated and bland statement following with the brutal gang-rape of a medical student in Delhi in December 2012. The man whom the Congress calls its young face could not connect with the youth who took to the streets of Delhi by the thousands to protest the incident and the government’s incompetent handling of its aftermath. His 66-year-old mother’s simple but powerful appeal on the same day made many comparable responses of the two leaders.
But Congress veterans and young guns alike said that they are sure that Rahul Gandhi is the man to galvanise the party and lead it to a third straight victory in the Lok Sabha elections slated for next year. They have credited him with promoting young faces in the Congress and his close sides say he has detailed political knowledge and is a practised backroom operator. Upon his elevation, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot said, “It has energised the party workers throughout the nation. We will go to the next Lok Sabha election with a renewed vigour now and Rahul will be a unifying force for Congress.”
A political observer said that there will be no overnight transformation in the Congress and thanks to Rahul Gandhi’s ascent to the no. 2 positions. “Mrs Sonia Gandhi is, by temperament, cautious and wants to accommodate senior, established leaders.
Rahul Gandhi education was as an bachelor, he was educated in India and graduated fromUS and has worked in London. In his political avatar, he favours a white kurta-pyjama with sports shoes and often sports a stubble. Till a few years ago, he was spotted many times racing a motorcycle in Delhi with his brother-in-law Robert Vadra, much to the chagrin of those charged with his security.
They have often also been stretched as Rahul Gandhi, who has the highest-level security with him, has slipped into crowds of people and mingled with them.
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