"My mother came to my room and cried... because she understands that power is poison," Rahul Gandhi said on Sunday in a highly emotional speech after taking over the new mantle.
Striking a personal note, the 42-year-old leader in his maiden address as party vice president, recalled the moments when his mother and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi walked into his room on Thursday night.
"Last night each one of you congratulated me. My mother came to my room and she sat with me and she cried... because she understands that power so many people seek is actually a poison," Rahul said at the AICC session in Jaipur.
He recalled the time his grandmother and the then Prime Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984 by security guards with whom he used to play badminton as "friends" and how his father Rajiv Gandhi, who was himself "broken inside", showed a "glimmer of hope" to the people.
The young leader received a standing ovation by the audience which included Sonia and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he said "We should not chase power, only use it to empower others."
He said his mother could see that power is poison "because she is not attached to it. The only antidote to this poison for all of us to see what it really is and not become attached to it. We should not chase power for the attributes of power. We should only use it to empower the voices."
Rahul recalled that as a little boy, "he loved to play badminton. I loved it because it gave me balance in this complicated world. I was taught how to play in my grandmother's house by two police men who protected my grandmother as my friends.
"Then one day they killed my grandmother and took away the balance from my life. I felt like I had not felt before."