Published: Tue, December 19, 2017
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Rahul Gandhi takes over India's opposition Congress celebration

Rahul Gandhi takes over India's opposition Congress celebration

Earlier in the day, the Gandhi scion took over the Congress' reins from his mother, Sonia Gandhi, at a ceremony held at the party's 24 Akbar Road headquarters here.

Formally taking over the mantle of the 132-year-old Indian National Congress, the country's oldest party, Rahul Gandhi, 47, gave a pep talk to party workers on Saturday, telling Congress cadres to stand up to "regressive" BJP and accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "taking India back to medieval times". "Under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, the country will see a great change", said Mr Chennithala and Mr Chandy.

Taking a jibe at ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he added that once a fire is lit it is hard to diffuse.

Accusing the BJP of promoting hate and violence, he said: " These regressive forces win not because they deserve to but because they are powerful and misuse that power". "They break, we unite". "I want Congress to become an instrument of dialogue with people of India", he said. They defame, we respect and defend.

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Before Mr. Gandhi spoke, outgoing Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressed her party members for the last time as the party president. He invited the youth of the country to build a "compassionate and loving" India.

"A fragmented Congress was in power in just three states â€" Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Nagaland and BJP had just been elected to power at the Centre under the leadership of BJP stalwarts, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former Home Minister L K Advani. "We depend on you to transform and sustain the politics of hope", Singh said.

Nizamabad Special Correspondent adds: Party cadre across the erstwhile undivided district celebrated Rahul Gandhi assuming the AICC reins by bursting crackers, distributing candies, cutting cakes and dancing to the drum beats.

"Breaking away from tradition, this is the first time that the certificate for the new Congress president is being given out in front of party leaders and members", Janardan Dwivedi, senior Congress leader said while addressing the function. He was appointed as the party general secretary in 2007 and was elevated as its vice president in January 2013.

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