Rahul Gandhi is Congress' president-elect, will take charge on 16 December; Narendra Modi offers 'best wishes'

Rahul Gandhi has been elevated to the president-elect of the Congress, the party's central election authority head Mullappally Ramachandran announced during a press conference on Monday.

Rahul will collect the certificate formally declaring his ascension to the post on 16 December, he said.

The 47-year-old scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family was the lone candidate in the fray. Rahul Gandhi succeeds his mother Sonia Gandhi, who remained in the post for 19 years. The CEA received a total of 89 nomination papers proposing Rahul's name for the top post. All the nomination papers were found to be valid, Ramachandran said. "Since the withdrawal of date/time is over and as there is only one candidate (Rahul), as per Article XVII (d) of the Constitution of Indian National Congress, I hereby declare Shri Rahul Gandhi elected as president of the Indian National Congress," Ramachandran said.

Ramachandran said Rahul was a stickler for rules and was particular about ensuring that the elections were conducted in a transparent and meaningful manner.

"Both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi never interfered with the election authority. We were given complete freedom to execute the onerous responsibility," he said.

Congress workers all over the country celebrated after the formal announcement. Party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told ANI that that the entire nation has a lot of expectations from Rahul. "Much before he was elected, he has shown his mettle. He knows his responsibility," he added.

The entire BJP, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers in Gujarat, have been unable to counter Rahul, Azad said.

Meanwhile, Modi congratulated Rahul on Twitter, wishing him a fruitful tenure.

Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi called the announcement a "joyous" moment for the party.

Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi is expected to guide the party and play an effective role after stepping down as president. Congress leader M Veerappa Moily said, "She will continue to play an effective role even though she is not (Congress) president."

Rahul will be the fifth member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to take charge of the Grand Old Party of India. Of the 15 people who led the 132-year-old party post-Independence, four belonged to the Gandhi-Nehru family.

Rahul Gandhi became the vice-president of the party in January 2013.

With inputs from agencies


Updated Date: Dec 11, 2017 18:57 PM

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