Robert Vadra congratulates Rahul Gandhi
Industrialist and Rahul Gandhi's brother-in-law, Robert Vadra took to Facebook to congratulate Rahul as he is set to take over the party's reins.
Robert Vadra congratulates Rahul Gandhi
Industrialist and Rahul Gandhi's brother-in-law, Robert Vadra took to Facebook to congratulate Rahul as he is set to take over the party's reins.
As Congress workers celebrate, monumental challenges lie ahead of Rahul Gandhi
Once Rahul takes over as Congress chief, he’s expected to face a tough challenge from Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, who are known for their connection to the grass roots and drawing up electoral strategies with surgical precision.
On the other hand, he has failed during the Assembly elections, be it allying with the Left in West Bengal or in Uttar Pradesh. Many times, Rahul has been accused of being an absentee politician.
When he takes over, dealing with alliances will be a major challenge. Especially given the fact that the NCP just snapped ties with the Congress in Gujarat. A rift has also emerged between the Patidars and Congress.
The second challenge would be overhauling the party cadre through internal restructuring. Third, Rahul's equations with the old guard of the Congress and how efficiently he deals with them will be watched closely. Fourth, regaining the trust of party workers across the country will be crucial.
A Look at Rahul Gandhi's Inner Coterie
As the country is divided over the way the Congress president election process is being held, News 18 looked at possible Congressmen who could be inducted into his close circle.
Congress election authority to scrutinise the nomination papers and publish the list of candidates tomorrow
According to The Indian Express, Congress election authority chairman Mullappally Ramachandran said that it will scrutinise the nomination papers and publish the list of candidates tomorrow.
As many as 89 sets of nominations have been filed today for the Congress president elections today.
The rebranding of Rahul Gandhi
After several years, brand Rahul Gandhi is in demand again. Every morning these days, we wake up to find Gandhi either trending on Twitter or dominating headlines on Google, both considered indicators of popular interest.
His one-liners are finding traction. Images of his extra-curricular activities are going viral. His election rallies are drawing crowds and applause. And young girls are clicking selfies with him. As the inimitable Richie Benaud would have said, it is all happening here, in our lifetimes.
Gandhi's biggest success – and we are not talking about electoral gains, they are still in the realm of future – has been his ability to 'humanise' himself. Slowly and steadily, he has given us a glimpse of Gandhi as a person, a walking, breathing entity, instead of the abstract concept he once was.
Today a black today, an under-performer has been promoted: Shehzad Poonawalla
"It’s a black day as a person who lacks merit and has been a perpetual underperformer has been promoted for every failure of his at the behest of a dynastic system led by his mother," Shehzad Poonawalla told News18.
Shehzad Poonawalla speaks again, says Rahul Gandhi anointed like a Mughal king
Rahul Gandhi is not president of Congress but has been anointed like a Mughal king in line of dynastic hereditary succession: Shehzad Poonawalla pic.twitter.com/3IxaiA1pC5— News18 (@CNNnews18) December 4, 2017
Lutyens' ecosystem around Rahul Gandhi is working overtime to help him succeed in Gujarat
Gujarat Assembly elections will be the first formal litmus test for Rahul Gandhi, within days of him taking over as Congress President. It is interesting to observe and analyse the ecosystem that is working to make Rahul tick. It is as if the constituents around Rahul have realised that their own survival depends on his success.
So, at one level we have Ashok Gehlot chaperoning him on the campaign trail with a smile permanently pasted on his face. Then there is the trusted Estate Manager, or the 10 Janpath equivalent of the Lord Chamberlain as it were, Ahmed Patel, who has been entrusted by the Queen Mother to install the crown Prince on the throne. Operating from the wings is the benign and brainy uncle, Sam Pitroda, who has taken it upon himself to ensure the succession of his departed friend’s lineage.
Rahul Gandhi is special and Congress has country's faith: Navjot Singh Sidhu
''राहुल भाई ख़ास हैं, कांग्रेस देश का विश्वास है'' कहते हुए Navjot Singh Sidhu ने राहुल गाँधी के नेतृत्व के प्रति उम्मीदें जताई और शुभकामनाएं दीं #IndiaWithRahulGandhi@sherryontopp pic.twitter.com/AKwCrMZtqv— Congress (@INCIndia) December 4, 2017
If one must pin-point the exact time when Rahul Gandhi's transformation began — from a bumbling, confused, novice politician who was still learning the ropes and finding himself the butt of all jokes from seasoned Opposition leaders to a witty politician capable of giving it back as good as it came — it must be following his international trip in the summer this year.
In June, to mark his 47th birthday, the Congress scion had gone for an international vacation. At the time, following a series of electoral debacles, and key events like the GST roll-out and the presidential elections coming up shortly, the Congress vice-president's travel was criticised roundly.
However, whatever he did on his international vacation, it has certainly paid off for Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party. He has returned energised; his speeches today have the spark, while he's already becoming a darling of the social media. His elevation to Congress party president, which would have polarised opinions until last year, are even being seen in a positive light today.
Himachal Pradesh Congress files nomination papers proposing Rahul Gandhi's name for party president post
Modi suffering from Rahul-phobia: Surjewala
"Why is the Prime Minister suffering from Rahul Gandhi phobia? Why is he so much stressed?" Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters here ahead of party vice president Rahul Gandhi's filing of nomination for its presidential post.
He also said that Modi's "love for Shehzad (Poonawalla), Shahzada (BJP chief Amit Shah's son Jai Shah) and Shourya (National Security Advisor Ajit Doval's son)" is well known to the world.
"But will Modiji tell when he will answer the questions of his own senior party leaders like Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha?" he asked.
Hope Rahul takes India to great heights: Farooq Abdullah
"This is a good sign that the young brigade is stepping forward. I hope he takes India to great heights where everyone lives with harmony. The post of PM lies in distant future, for now he must work hard to unite India and bring everyone together," Farooq Abdullah said on Rahul Gandhi filing his nominations for election of Congress President.
Anand Sharma hopes Rahul Gandhi will prove to be an impressive leader
कांग्रेस सांसद और वरिष्ठ नेता @AnandSharmaINC ने आज के दिन को ऐतिहासिक बताते हुए राहुल गाँधी के सशक्त, प्रभावशाली नेतृत्व देने का विश्वास जताया और जीत की शुभकामनाएं दीं #IndiaWithRahulGandhi pic.twitter.com/sUdK5eRXse— Congress (@INCIndia) December 4, 2017
Manmohan Singh heaps praise on Rahul on coronation day, says Gandhi scion is a darling of Congress
"It's a great day. Rahul has been the darling of the Congress men and Congress women and this is yet another step in his devotion to the Congress party and country," Manmohan Singh, said, when asked about Rahul Gandhi's takeover.
"So it will be yet another chapter for the party and Rahul Gandhi will carry on the great traditions of taking the party forward," Singh added.
Over 90 sets of nominations are expected to be filed supporting Gandhi whose election is a mere formality now, as there is no other candidate for the party's top post.
Sonia Among Proposers for Rahul's Candidature for Top Congress Post
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh will be among proposers for the candidature of Rahul Gandhi for the party chief's post.
Accompanied by her mother Sonia Gandhi, Singh and other senior Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi will file his nomination papers for the election to the top Congress post tomorrow(Monday), the last date for filing of nominations.
According to party sources, there were apprehensions among the party leaders earlier over the incumbent president being among the proposers to Rahul Gandhi's candidature.
'Pidhikaran' of Congress is complete, says BJP
The BJP on Monday played on the words "Pidi" and "peedi" while dismissing the process for generational change in the Congress leadership as "Pidhikaran", a reference to Rahul Gandhi's dog. Neither the old "peedi" nor the new "peedi" matter in the opposition party, BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said, using the Hindi word for generation to take a swipe at the process to elevate Rahul Gandhi from vice president to president of the Congress.
In no organisation is a member promoted for repeatedly failing to perform, he said after the Gandhi scion filed his nomination papers to succeed his mother Sonia Gandhi as Congress president. "Pidhikaran of the Congress is now complete. Neither the old generation (PEEDI), nor the new generation matters. Only Pidhi matters," Rao said.
Mani Shankar Aiyar's Aurangzeb comment was in response to Poonawalla's remark
Replying to a question about BJP's criticism following Maharashtra Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla calling Rahul Gandhi's election as party chief rigged, Mani Shankar Aiyar said, "When Shah Jahan came in the place of Jahangir did any election happen? And when Aurangzeb came in place of Shah Jahan did any election happen? It was known to everyone that the throne of the king will automatically go to the heir." Aiyar's comments came as a retort to the "dynasty" jibes of the BJP on Rahul Gandhi's election.
"But in a democracy elections are held. I openly invite Poonawala to file the nomination and contest," Aiyar said, adding has anyone heard of Shehzad Poonawala.
Wish Rahul all the very best going ahead: Omar Abdullah
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Omar Abdullah wished Rahul Gandhi and tweeted, "As Rahul Gandhi files his nomination to take over the Grand Old Party of India (Congress) I wish him all the very best going ahead. Expectations are high, challenges are numerous & I pray for his success."
As @OfficeOfRG files his nomination to take over the Grand Old Party of India I wish him all the very best going ahead. Expectations are high, challenges are numerous & I pray for his success.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) December 4, 2017
Congress has become a burden on this nation: Adiyanath
"Congress has become a burden on this nation, now would be good if after Rahul ji's elevation once and for all this burden is removed," says Chief Minister Adityanath.
Congress has become a burden on this nation, now would be good if after Rahul ji's elevation once and for all this burden is removed: UP CM Yogi Adityanath pic.twitter.com/3Jl9vCz0As— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) December 4, 2017
Mani Shankar Aiyar clarifies on his Aurangzeb remark
"Don't compare both, during Mughal rule it was understood that after Jehangir, Shahjahan will be the leader but here anyone is free to contest against Rahul Gandhi, its a totally democratic process," says Mani Shankar Aiyar.
Don't compare both, during Mughal rule it was understood that after Jehangir, Shahjahan will be the leader but here anyone is free to contest against Rahul Gandhi, its a totally democratic process: Mani Shankar Aiyar,Congress pic.twitter.com/Qugs6rGhz3— ANI (@ANI) December 4, 2017
WATCH: Congress' Mani Shankar Aiyar comparing Congress to the Mughal raj
BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya on Monday tweeted out Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's quotes to a TV channel where the party veteran compared the Congress to Mughal era. "Was their an election process to chose Shah Jahan after Jehangir? Or was their a poll to elect Aurangzeb after Shah Jahan?"
The Congress leader's quote has already been picked up by Narendra Modi who is addressing several rallies in poll-bound Gujarat today.
Mani Shankar Aiyar does it, again! Compares Congress rule with Mughal Raj! pic.twitter.com/irijmGjWbY— Amit Malviya (@malviyamit) December 4, 2017
"On 9 December, you have to decide the destiny of Gujarat.. The vote is against those who hate Guajrati people, Gujarat state, its name itself. 9 December is the date when you can teach a lesson these people who are defaming Gujarat."
'Earlier, Congress would go out of the way to show their secularism but now we are all seeing what they are doing'
"Earlier, Congress would go out of the way to show their secularism but now we are all seeing what they are doing in this election, where they are going. Unfortunately for them, Muslims know their real nature," says Narendra Modi.
I congratulate the Congress on their 'Aurangzeb Raj.' For us, the well being of the people matters and 125 crore Indians are our high command: PM Modi pic.twitter.com/GSobcJT20X— ANI (@ANI) December 4, 2017
Earlier, Congress would go out of the way to show their secularism but now we are all seeing what they are doing in this election, where they are going. Unfortunately for them, Muslims know their real nature: PM Modi #GujaratElection2017 pic.twitter.com/vredOl0z6a— ANI (@ANI) December 4, 2017
...Congress accepts its a family party? We don't want this Aurangzeb rule: Modi
"Mani Shankar Aiyar said that 'did elections happen during Mughal rule? After Jehangir, Shahjahan came, was any election held? After Shahjahan it was understood Aurangzeb will be the leader'. So Congress accepts its a family party? We don't want this Aurangzeb rule," says Narendra Modi in Gujarat's Dharmapur.
I congratulate Congress on their Aurangzeb Raj: Narendra Modi in Gujarat
Prime Minister Modi is addressing a rally in Gujarat's Dharampur where he has raked up Mani Shankar Aiyar's reported statement on Rahul Gandhi's elevation. "Mani Shankar Aiyar says it’s like Aurangzeb taking over from Shah Jahan," says Modi.
"I congratulate the Congress on their 'Aurangzeb Raj'. For us, the well-being of the people matters and 125 crore Indians are our high command."
"Congress party leaders themselves agree that it isn't a party, rather a clan. Congress can't either tolerate or accept leaders from Gujarat. They have always defamed Gujarat. They put (former Prime Minister) Morarji Desai in jail."
Mani Shankar Aiyar said that 'did elections happen during Mughal rule? After Jehangir, Shahjahan came, was any election held? After Shahjahan it was understood Aurangzeb will be the leader'. So Congress accepts its a family party? We don't want this Aurangzeb rule: PM Modi pic.twitter.com/8gF08GiSRI— ANI (@ANI) December 4, 2017
When News18 asked if Rahul Gandhi will Congress' prime ministerial candidate for the 2019 General Elections, RPN Singh says "there's no doubt about it". He adds, "Sonia Gandhi is our mentor and will be there to guide us through."
Take a look at all past Congress presidents since the party's inception
Modi has business commenting on Congress' internal matter: Siddaramaiah
"If anyone wants to participate in elections he or she is free to do so,its going on in democratic manner. Prime Minister has no business to comment on Congress's internal matter," Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said on Rahul Gandhi filing nomination for party president.
If anyone wants to participate in elections he or she is free to do so,its going on in democratic manner. PM has no business to comment on Congress's internal matter: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah on #RahulGandhi filing nomination for party president pic.twitter.com/cBRw7RDDlc— ANI (@ANI) December 4, 2017
Shehzad Poonawalla says Congress appointing dummy candidate so that this sham looks like an election
"Mere sources mujhe bata rahe hain ki darbariyon mein baat chal rahi hai ki ek dummy candidate utara jaye taake ye election lage, lekin ab logon ki aankhon mein dhool nahi jhonk sakte (My sources have told me that the discussion among the "courtiers" is that they will appoint a dummy candidate so that this sham looks like an election. But they can't fool people for too long.)"
Mere sources mujhe bata rahe hain ki darbariyon mein baat chal rahi hai ki ek dummy candidate utara jaye taake ye election lage, lekin ab logon ki aankhon mein dhool nahi jhonk sakte: #ShehzadPoonawalla on #RahulGandhi 's nomination pic.twitter.com/9wpJB1t4IN— ANI (@ANI) December 4, 2017
Comparison with Rajiv Gandhi
Rahul's personal charisma, and ability to strike a chord with the people, urged many to compare him to his father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Just like Rajiv, Rahul's complete disregard for his security, as he mingled with cheering crowds, or when he rode pillion on a motorbike to reach agitating farmers in Bhatta Parsaul, were a reminder of his father's ways of politics.
Rahul, unlike many other grassroots leaders who later shot to fame, never had to fight for recognition. He was representing the fourth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and was perhaps destined to enter politics, the moment his mother accepted the role of Congress president, reluctantly in 1998.
When he made his electoral debut in 2004 Lok Sabha election, the family's traditional constituency Amethi — which had been represented by Sanjay, Rajiv, and Sonia Gandhi in the past — embraced him warmly. Within the party, his entry in politics was hailed as "Congress' Obama moment", NDTV reported at the time.
'Rahul Gandhi has not opted for this, party workers asked him to file nomination': Congress leader Oscar Fernandes
Mallikarjun Kharge wishes Rahul Gandhi the best
INCIndia: Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge wishes Congress VP Rahul Gandhi all the best in his journey to Congress President and dwells on his qualities as a strong leader. #IndiaWithRahulGandhi pic.twitter.com/oUGv96YG2w— Assam Congress (@WithCongAssamNE) December 4, 2017
Manmohan Singh says Rahul Gandhi will carry on the great traditions of Congress
"Sonia Gandhi has been party president for 19 years. This (Rahul Gandhi's nomination) is yet another step in that direction. Rahul Gandhi will carry on the great traditions of the Congress party," said the former prime minister Manmohan Singh.
Ghulam Nabi Azad on why Rahul Gandhi is perfect for Congress president
Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha @AzadGhulamNabi sends his wishes to Congress VP Rahul Gandhi and highlights why he is the perfect fit for Congress President. #IndiaWithRahulGandhi pic.twitter.com/NxynbmKEBZ— Congress (@INCIndia) December 4, 2017
Ayodhya — one of the main issues Rahul Gandhi will be challenged with
In the scenario of the Supreme Court disallowing the building of the Ram temple, Muslim triumphalism will be no less provocative. It will certainly aggravate the hurt of those Hindus for whom, because of decades of propaganda or otherwise, it is an article of faith that Lord Ram was born at the spot where the Babri Masjid once stood. A judgment against the temple will also goad the BJP into turning the 2019 elections into a veritable referendum on Lord Ram. It will ask voters to give it a mandate that would enable it to bring in a law for overcoming the adverse Supreme Court judgment. What then will be Rahul’s stance? Will he fight the 2019 election stating unequivocally that the Supreme Court judgment has to be accepted?
'Have no doubt we will make tremendous strides under Rahul Gandhi': Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia
Have no doubt that we will make tremendous strides under your unifying & progressive leadership @OfficeOfRG! Wish you the very best! Look forward to undertaking this journey of building an India of energy, opportunity & unity with you. #IndiawithRahulGandhi— Jyotiraditya Scindia (@JM_Scindia) December 4, 2017
Kamal Nath, Sheila Dikshit, Motilal Vora and Tarun Gogoi file first set of nominations
Senior party leaders including Kamal Nath, Sheila Dikshit, Motilal Vora and Tarun Gogoi filed first set of nominations(as proposers) for Rahul Gandhi pic.twitter.com/kTSSk5pZRV— ANI (@ANI) December 4, 2017
Challenges Rahul Gandhi will need to address when he becomes Congress president
The principal tasks before Rahul Gandhi as Congress president will be to evolve strategies for countering Hindu nationalism without alienating the Hindus and ensuring Other Backward Classes (OBC) politics doesn't stump the party. These two tasks dwarf the challenges most media commentators have identified for Rahul — those of forging alliances with regional players and building the party organisation.
The Congress has been opposed to Hindu nationalism through its 132 years of existence. But this ideological position lost its edge ever since the BJP initiated the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the late 1980s. Since then, the Congress has hemmed and hawed, hoping Hindu nationalism will somehow pale before issues of development, rozi-roti, and creation of jobs. Indeed, the cyclical waning of Hindu nationalism enabled the Congress to return to power in 1991, 2004 and 2009.
Congress stronger under Rahul Gandhi, his performance is excellent: Girija Vyas
A host of party heavyweights will be present when Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi files his nomination for the party chief's post at its headquarters in New Delhi on Monday, with over 90 sets of nomination papers likely to be filed to support his candidature.
Six chief ministers — Punjab's Amarinder Singh, Karnataka's Siddaramaiah, Himachal Pradesh's Virbhadra Singh, Puducherry's V Narayanasamy, Meghalaya's Mukul Sangma and Mizoram's Lal Thanhawla — are expected to be present when over 90 sets of nomination papers are likely to be filed by various leaders to extend support to Rahul Gandhi's candidature.
Congress state unit chiefs, senior leaders and Pradesh Congress Committee delegates will be present at the party's central office to express support to Rahul Gandhi ahead of his much-awaited elevation.
The Congress vice president is likely to reach the party headquarters around 10.30 am to file his nomination. He will sign sets of nomination papers to be filed before the Returning Officer.
Mullappally Ramachandran, the Returning Officer for the organisational election, told IANS that 90 nomination forms were taken by different states though not one has been submitted so far.
The process of nominations started on Friday. The last date for filing nominations is 4 December.
Reacting to criticism over the election process, Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev told the media: "All I want to say is that it is happening under Election Commission supervision. When we talk about electoral democracy, I wish to say, we conduct (internal) elections while adhering to Election Commission rules. It is being done with full transparency. We have not violated any rules."
She said if someone was raising questions, what was the basis on which they were doing so. "I won't be able to comment about it. Only those who have raised the issue can explain."
On Sunday, many senior Congress leaders, its members of Parliament and PCC chiefs arrived at the party headquarters to sign the papers, including Sachin Pilot, Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Shukla, PC Chacko, Shobha Oza, Hamdulla Sayeed and others.
Apart from states and union territories, senior leaders on the Congress Working Committee (CWC), including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, AK Antony, Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad are likely to submit different sets of nomination papers.
The elevation of Rahul Gandhi, who is presently spearheading the Congress campaign ahead of the 9 and 14 December Gujarat Assembly polls, has been much talked about in party circles for around two years.
With Rahul Gandhi in all likelihood to be the only candidate in the fray, he could be declared the next Congress chief on 5 December after scrutiny of nominations.
He will succeed his mother Sonia Gandhi, the longest serving Congress chief who has helmed the party since 1998.
Rahul Gandhi became the Congress vice president in January 2013.
With inputs from IANS
Published Date: Dec 04, 2017 16:53 PM | Updated Date: Dec 04, 2017 20:07 PM
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