ALSO READRahul Gandhi as Congress President? The elevation put off again Rahul Gandhi all set to become Congress president Congress readies for Rahul Gandhi era Rahul Gandhi elected Congress president: Can he challenge PM Modi? Rahul Gandhi slams Modi, GST, industrialists in Gujarat: Top 10 highlights
Rahul Gandhi took charge as the Congress party's president on Saturday and was handed the certificate for taking over in the presence of his mother Sonia Gandhi, who steps down from the post with her son's elevation, and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Now that Sonia Gandhi is handing over the reins of the party to Rahul, we salute her for uniting the leadership, something that she has been doing for 19 years, Singh said after Rahul's elevation, adding that Rahul brings a new sense of dedication and commitment (as party president). "I am sure the party will scale new heights of glory," the former prime minister was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Rahul, who has often been seen as a reluctant politician, was named the chief-to-be on Monday after no one else from his party challenged him in the internal election. Ahead of the ceremony, Congress leader Sachin Pilot said the party president-elect had always been a unanimous choice of the lakhs of workers across India and would infuse a new energy into the party. Take a walk down memory lane with us as we revisit Smt. Sonia Gandhi's journey in the Congress Party and say #ThankYouSoniaGandhi for her years of guidance, service and commitment to the Party and the country. #CongressPresidentRahulGandhi pic.twitter.com/NMN7Hruvzd
Take a walk down memory lane with us as we revisit Smt. Sonia Gandhi's journey in the Congress Party and say #ThankYouSoniaGandhi for her years of guidance, service and commitment to the Party and the country. #CongressPresidentRahulGandhi pic.twitter.com/NMN7Hruvzd— Congress (@INCIndia) December 16, 2017
The Congress office in Lucknow was also decorated with lights. The party is also set to organise a grand celebration in the national capital. Celebrations took place outside the All India Congress Committee office in Delhi as the Gandhi scion took charge as Congress president, news agency ANI reported.5. Rahul Gandhi's makeover In a TV interview days before his coronation, Rahul Gandhi maintained he has not undergone any 'makeover' and accused the BJP of tarnishing his image. "There is no makeover; the truth of Rahul Gandhi was being distorted by BJP workers. I speak the truth and that truth is coming out," the Gandhi scion said. Asked about the comments on the Nehru-Gandhi family, Rahul said he did not feel any hatred for the Prime Minister, adding that Modi has helped him the most. "Modiji has helped me the most... How can I hate him," Rahul Gandhi said. "If you look at religion and the history of the nation, love has to be the response to hatred. There is zero emotion of anger and hatred in me," he said in response to a question on the comments made on the Nehru-Gandhi family. 6. Congress President Sonia Gandhi announces retirement Sonia Gandhi was on Friday asked by the media in Parliament about her future role. "My role is to retire," she said. Her comments were interpreted to mean that Sonia Gandhi plans to retire from public life. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala requested the media "to not rely upon innuendos". Surjewala also tweeted: "Sonia Gandhi has retired as president of the Indian National Congress and not from politics. Her blessings, wisdom and innate commitment to the Congress ideology shall always be our guiding light." 7. 'Congress only party that will challenge BJP nationally in 2019' Congress leader Sachin Pilot said that in the 2019 Assembly elections, the Congress would remain the only party to challenge the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nationally, which it even now it is. "In 2019 elections, the only party to challenge the BJP nationally is and will remain the Congress party. I am very confident that he (Rahul Gandhi) will lead the party with a lot of energy and be able to overcome the challenges," he said. 8. EC issues notice to Rahul Gandhi for TV interview The Election Commission on Wednesday issued a notice to Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi asking why action should not be taken against him for violating the Representation of the People Act, hours after several TV channels aired his interview on Gujarat polls. Taking action on a complaint from the BJP’s Gujarat unit, the Commission instructed Gandhi to furnish his response by 5 p.m. on December 18. The notice was issued for “prima facie” violation of Section 126(1) (b) of the Act. ALSO READ: Rahul interview: Channels face EC ire 9. Congress attacks Modi for violating model code of conduct during Gujarat polls The Congress, in turn, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of misusing the FICCI platform on Wednesday. Alleging double standards, party communications in charge Randeep Surjewala said while FIR was being registered against TV channels for showing Gandhi’s interview, why no such action was being taken against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP president Amit Shah on the same ground. He said Jaitley had released the party manifesto in Ahmedabad on December 8 while PM Modi held four public meetings on December 9 and Shah addressed a press conference in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. He said a delegation led by Congress leader Ashok Gehlot would visit the EC office late on Wednesday evening. ALSO READ: Gujarat polls: SC refuses Cong plea to verify VVPAT slips with EVM votes 10) Rahul takes over as poll of exit polls predicts Congress defeat in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh PM Modi's ruling BJP will sweep the election in his home state of Gujarat, surveys showed on Thursday, shaking off the most serious challenge yet from a combined Opposition. The election for a new state Assembly in Gujarat is seen as a litmus test for Modi ahead of a national election in 2019. Voting closed on Thursday. A win would help him dismiss critics who said the ruling BJP's support base was eroding after last year's shock move to ban high-value currency notes in the fight against graft, and poor implementation of a national sales tax this year hit businesses. Three separate television exit polls at the close of the final round of voting on Thursday showed the BJP winning more than 100 seats in the 182-member state house, well clear of the half-way mark of 92 required to rule. Congress will win 70-74 seats, the polls showed, better than in the past but not enough to oust the BJP from power. Another exit poll, conducted by a Today’s Chanakya group, gave the BJP a two-thirds victory. The actual votes will be counted on Monday and exit polls and other surveys have often gone wrong. The Congress party said it was too quick to call the election based on exit polls. Separate exit polls released for state polls held in Himachal Pradesh also showed BJP emerging as the winner.