Rahul Gandhi takes over as Congress president: Sonia says vicious personal attacks made him fearless, he will lead with courage

Sonia Gandhi told Congress party workers to be ready for a fight and to make any sacrifice as India was facing “unprecedented challenges”.

india Updated: Dec 16, 2017 14:46 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Rahul Gandhi,Rahul Gandhi Congress president,Indian National Congress‬
Newly elected Congress president Rahul Gandhi (L) with his mother Sonia Gandhi at an event in New Delhi on Saturday.(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)

Handing over the charge of Congress president to her son Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said the party should set its house in order and be ready for any sacrifice to stop the communal forces in the country.

Congratulating Rahul on his elevation, she said personal attacks on her son have made him fearless and voiced confidence that the young leadership will infuse new vigour in the party. (Catch LIVE updates here)

“I am sure he will lead the party with courage and dedication,” 71-year-old Sonia said, addressing an event in which Rahul was handed over certificate of election as Congress president.

Sonia, who headed the 131-year-old Congress for the last 19 years, also thanked party leaders and workers for the support she received during her tenure as its chief.

She said the country was facing “unprecedented challenges”, but stressed that the party was not going to be scared.

“Congress should introspect and move forward and stand by its values.... It is a moral battle, we have to set our house in order and be ready for the fight and to make any sacrifice,” she said.

Striking a personal note, Sonia said she was proud of her son’s endurance and determination.

“Rahul is my son and I don’t feel it is appropriate that I praise him but I will definitely say that since childhood he had faced the agony inflicted by violence. In his political life, he faced vicious personal attacks which have made him more fearless. I am proud of his endurance and determination. I am fully confident that he will lead the party with courage and dedication,” she said.

During the speech, Sonia also talked about the time when she was reluctant to join politics following the assassination of her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi and husband Rajiv Gandhi.

Sonia had to briefly stop her speech due to disturbance from bursting of fire crackers outside AICC head quarters by party workers to celebrate the occasion.

The event was attended by Rahul’s sister Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra, her husband Robert Vadra, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other senior party leaders.

First Published: Dec 16, 2017 13:22 IST