Rahul Gandhi files nomination for post of Congress president, to take over reins from Sonia
No one else other than Gandhi filed nomination papers for the top post of the Congress party. The official announcement of his appointment will come on December 11.india Updated: Dec 04, 2017 23:14 IST
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is set to take over as the party’s president on December 11 after he was the only one to file the nomination for the post on Monday, the last day to do so.
Gandhi will take over the reins of the party from his mother Sonia Gandhi who has steered the party for the past 19 years.
He will be the sixth member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to occupy the party’s highest position in its 131 years of existence.
Gandhi was made the Congress’s deputy chief in January 2013.
“Rahulji has been the darling of the Congress ... He will carry on the great tradition of the Congress party,” former prime minister Manmohan Singh gushed, as jubilant Congress workers thronged the party headquarters in the national capital.
The official announcement of Gandhi’s appointment will come on December 11, the last day for withdrawing nominations.
The Congress central election authority, which oversees organisational polls, received as many as 89 sets of nomination papers for Gandhi, including from proposers such as his mother, former prime minister Singh and other Congress Working Committee members.
The papers will be checked on Tuesday.
Gandhi, 47, visited the homes of Singh, former President Pranab Mukherjee, and his mother to seek blessings before filing his nomination around 11am.
His presidency is expected to mark a generational shift in the party that is struggling with a series of electoral setbacks, including its worst drubbing when it won just 44 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls after 10 years in power.
Gandhi’s task will be to revive and rebuild the Congress to make it fighting fit for the 2019 elections. A good show in the Gujarat assembly polls this December, where he is leading the party campaign from the front, will give a good start to his new innings.
The Congress’s fortunes hinge on its revival in the states. After Gujarat, his next challenges will be to retain Karnataka and dethrone the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan before the 2019 parliamentary elections.
Congress leaders suggest Gandhi may now go for an overhaul, while striking a balance between young leaders and the old guard, which had reservations about his style of functioning in the past.
The parliamentarian for Amethi has long had the reputation of being a reluctant leader, though analysts say he has displayed greater political acumen since the 2014 election defeat.
Sonia Gandhi enjoys a good rapport with most parties other than the BJP. Gandhi’s ability to stitchand maintain alliances will likely to test his political acumen, the analysts added.