Rahul Gandhi News Elections News biography of Rahul Gandhi

 Rahul Gandhi Elections News

Amethi, UP (Gen)
  • AGE 43 Years
  • Education MPhil
  • Assets 2,32,74,706
  • Liabilities 23,35000
Criminal Charge: 0
Constituency Data
  • Total Electors 14,31,787
  • Percentage of Votes 57.25%%
  • Attendance in Parliament 43%%
  • Debate Participated 1
  • Questions Asked 0
  • MPLAD Utilization 51.63%
As vice-president, Rahul Gandhi is set to lead the Congress party in the general elections in 2014. His incremental role in decision-making in the party is likely to coincide with a gradual withdrawal of president Sonia Gandhi from day-to-day party affairs. However, critics often accuse him of being reluctant to assume key role in the government.

At the AICC session in Jaipur in January, Rahul Gandhi’s invocation of the sacrifices made by the Nehru-Gandhi family drove party office bearers to tears. He asserted his authority as No. 2 in the party with a series of meetings with senior party leaders. His electoral appeal and political acumen will be tested once again as several states go to the polls.

As the scion of India's most famous dynasty, Rahul Gandhi was meant to work some much-needed family magic over the ruling Congress party.

But after a lacklustre election campaign during which he struggled to connect with voters and was outshone by his sister, he came under more fire this week for going missing at a crucial time.At a farewell dinner for outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mr Gandhi was conspicuous by his absence, generating another round of negative headlines for a man derided as a "princeling" by the country's likely next leader, Narendra Modi.

Mr Gandhi's mother, father, grandmother and great-grandfather have all led the Congress. Exit polls have indicated that support for Congress has slumped to an all-time low.

Mr Gandhi, whose mother Sonia is party president, was chosen to lead the Congress campaign despite asserting last year that the "power so many people seek is a poison". (My mother cried, she understands power is poison: Rahul Gandhi)

His appetite for power has long been questioned and he rejected several offers to enter the government. "He may be a well meaning and decent individual but as a politician he is a failure," said Kay Benedict, a Delhi-based analyst and Congress expert.

It has not helped that his younger sister Priyanka brims with the charisma Rahul is accused of lacking, a point starkly illustrated during the campaign when she emerged in the latter stages.

He has been at his most impassioned defending the secular tradition personified by his great-grandfather Jawaharal Nehru, India's first prime minister whose socialist model framed the post-independence economy.

Mr Gandhi has called the election "a clash between these two ideas of India", attacking Mr Modi over communal riots that killed more than 1,000 people - mostly Muslims - in Gujarat in 2002 after he had taken over as chief minister. (Rahul Gandhi takes on Narendra Modi over 2002 riots, questions 'clean chit')

Mr Modi, the son of a tea-seller, has in turn enjoyed riling Rahul as "shehzada" or prince who has no concept of the everyday challenges faced by India's masses, calling for an end to the "mother-son" government.

While Mr Gandhi's upbringing was as gilded as Modi's was humble, it was also seeped in tragedy.

He was 14 when his grandmother, prime minister Indira Gandhi, was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984 as revenge for the storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

His father, Rajiv Gandhi, was then pressed to take over as premier. Seven years later, Rajiv was assassinated by a Tamil suicide bomber.

With Mr Gandhi studying at Harvard, it was left to his mother Sonia to pick up the mantle and lead the Congress back to power in 2004. She declined to become premier.

After office jobs in London and Mumbai, Mr Gandhi entered politics and parliament a decade ago.

But he is widely criticized for spending little time in his constituency and rarely speaking in parliament. A leaked US diplomatic cable, written in 2007, said he was "widely viewed as an empty suit".

"Rahul Gandhi was just not able to communicate, he spoke in riddles," said Mohan Guruswamy from the Centre for Policy Alternatives, a Delhi-based think-tank, as he assessed the Congress campaign.

For now, the party leadership is rallying round Mr Gandhi, arguing the result will be in effect a verdict on a government which he did not enter.

"All this discussion is absurd," said Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid when asked for his view on the exit polls. "Rahul Gandhi is our leader and he will remain our leader in good and bad times."

Asked before the election if he would take full responsibility for defeat, Mr Gandhi replied: "If we don't win, I am the VP of the party of course I will take responsibility for it."

Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi 
(born 19 June 1970) is the Vice President of the Indian National Congress party and the Chairperson of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India. Gandhi served as a General Secretary in the All India Congress Committee and represents Amethi as its Member of Parliament (MP). He is the second-ranked member of the Congress Working Committee.

Gandhi comes from the politically influential Nehru–Gandhi family. His late father, Rajiv Gandhi, had served as the Prime Minister of India and had been President of the Congress Party. His mother Sonia Gandhi is currently serving as President of the Congress. He grew up in New Delhi, where his grandmother Indira Gandhi, was serving as Prime Minister until her assassination in 1984. His father was likewise assassinated in 1991. Due to security concerns, Gandhi constantly had to shift schools in his youth. He studied abroad under a pseudonym, his identity being known only to a select few including university officials and security agencies.

After obtaining degrees in international relations and development studies at the universities of Rollins and Cambridge, Gandhi worked at the Monitor Group, a management consulting firm in London, before establishing the Mumbai-based technology outsourcing firm, Backops Services Private Ltd. In 2004, Gandhi re-entered public life; he ran for and won his father's old seat of Amethi in India's national legislature. A few years later, in 2007, Gandhi was elected as the General Secretary of the Congress party, a previously executive post held by his father, and by his great-grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru. Once described as a youth icon, Gandhi is the leader of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India. Amidst calls from Congress party veterans for his greater involvement in party politics and national government, Gandhi was elected Congress Vice President in 2013.
Rahul Gandhi was born in Delhi on 19 June 1970, as the first of the two children of Rajiv Gandhi, who later became the Prime Minister of India, and Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, who later became President of Indian National Congress, and as the grandson of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He is also the great-grandson of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Priyanka Vadra is his younger sister and Robert Vadra is his brother-in-law. Rahul Gandhi attended St. Columba's School, Delhi before entering The Doon School in Dehradun (Uttarakhand) from 1981 to 1983. Meanwhile, his father had joined politics and became the Prime Minister on 31 October 1984 when Indira Gandhi was assassinated. Due to the security threats faced by Indira Gandhi's family from Sikh extremists, Rahul Gandhi and his sister, Priyanka were home-schooled thereafter. Rahul Gandhi joined St. Stephen's College, Delhi in 1989 for his undergraduate education but moved to Harvard University after he completed the first year examinations. In 1991, after Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by LTTE during an election rally, he shifted to Rollins College due to security concerns and completed his B.A. in 1994. During this period, he assumed the pseudonym Raul Vinci and his identity was known only to the university officials and security agencies. He further went on to obtain an M.Phil from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1995. After graduation, Rahul Gandhi worked at the Monitor Group, a management consulting firm, in London. In 2002 he was one of the directors of Mumbai-based technology outsourcing firm Backops Services Private Ltd.
In March 2004, Rahul Gandhi announced his entry into politics by announcing that he would contest the May 2004 elections, standing for his father's former constituency of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha, India's lower house of Parliament. The seat had been held by his mother until she transferred to the neighbouring seat of Rae Bareilly. The Congress had been doing poorly in Uttar Pradesh, holding only 10 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state at the time. At the time, this move generated surprise among political commentators, who had regarded his sister Priyanka as being the more charismatic and likely to succeed. It generated speculation that the presence of a young member of India's most famous political family would reinvigorate the Congress party's political fortunes among India's youthful population In his first interview with foreign media, Gandhi portrayed himself as a uniter of the country and condemned "divisive" politics in India, saying that he would try to reduce caste and religious tensions.

Gandhi won, retaining the family stronghold with a margin of over 100,000. Until 2006 he held no other office.

Gandhi and his sister, Priyanka managed their mother's campaign for re-election to Rae Bareilly in 2006, which was won easily with a margin greater than 400,000 votes. He was a prominent figure in the Congress campaign for the 2007 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections; Congress, however, won only 22 seats of the 403 seats with 8.53% of votes.

Gandhi was appointed General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee on 24 September 2007 in a reshuffle of the party secretariat. In the same reshuffle, he was also given charge of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India. In 2008, senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily mentioned "Rahul-as-PM" idea when the PM of India Manmohan Singh was still abroad.

In July 2012, Union Law Minister, Salman Khurshid stated that Gandhi should provide a "new ideology" to meet the present day challenges, the Congress party was facing.

On 19 January 2013, in a party conclave of the AICC, Gandhi formally took charge as Congress Vice President. He was elevated to the post of Vice President at the party's Jaipur conclave. As vice-president, he is second only to party President and his mother Sonia Gandhi.

On 27 September 2013, Gandhi surprised everyone by openly criticizing Prime Minister of India and his government for coming out with an ordinance to undo the effect of the order passed by Hon'ble Supreme Court of India by which convicted criminals could not contest election.

His rise to the top of the Congress Party has not been without controversy. As a member of the Nehru–Gandhi family, many, such as his political opponents in the BJP and AAP see him as a symbol of dynastic politics in the Congress Party.

His recent efforts as a lawmaker have centered around anti-corruption legislation and those that provide definitive rights to specific segments of society. Gandhi has been pushing six pieces of legislation currently in draft form, namely the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill; the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill; the Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill; the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Bill; the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill and the Public Procurement Bill. Gandhi has pushed for women empowerment. He has backed the Women's Reservation Bill which would allow 33% reservation of all Lok Sabha and state legislative assembly seats for women. This bill passed the Rajya Sabha on 9 March 2010 but has not yet been voted on by the Lok Sabha as of February 2014.Gandhi has also backed the repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

In September 2007 when he was appointed general secretary in charge of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) and the National Students Union of India (NSUI), Gandhi promised to reform youth politics. In his attempt to prove himself thus, in November 2008 Gandhi held interviews at his 12, Tughlak Lane residence in New Delhi to handpick at least 40 people who will make up the think-tank of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC), an organisation that he has been keen to transform since he was appointed general secretary in September 2007. Under Gandhi, the IYC and NSUI have seen a dramatic increase in members from two lakhs to twenty five lakhs. The Indian Express wrote in 2011, "Three years later, as another organisational reshuffle is in the offing, Gandhi's dream remains unrealised with party veterans manipulating internal elections in the Youth Congress and a host of people with questionable background gaining entry into it.

Rahul Gandhi opines that the Lokpal should be made a constitutional body and it should be made accountable to the Parliament, just like the Election Commission of India. He also feels that Lokpal alone cannot root out corruption. This statement came out on 25 August 2011, on the 10th day of Anna Hazare's fast. This statement was considered as a delaying tactic by the opposition and Team Anna's members. It was consequently slammed by prominent opposition leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley. The Parliamentary Standing Committee led by Abhishek Manu Singhvi tabled the Jan Lokpal Bill report in the Rajya Sabha on 9 December 2011. The report recommended the Lokpal to be made into a constitutional body. In response, Hazare attacked Rahul Gandhi, claiming he had made the bill "weak and ineffective" .

In 2004, Rahul Gandhi told the press that he had a girlfriend, Veronique Cartelli, a Spanish architect who lives in Venezuela.

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