|Vice-President of the Indian National Congress|
19 January 2013
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Chairperson of the Indian Youth Congress|
25 September 2007
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Chairperson of the National Students Union|
25 September 2007
|Preceded by||Office established|
|General Secretary of the Indian National Congress|
25 September 2007 – 19 January 2013
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Office abolished|
|Member of Parliament
17 May 2004
|Preceded by||Sonia Gandhi|
19 June 1970 |
New Delhi, India
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Alma mater||University of Delhi
Trinity College, Cambridge
Rahul Gandhi pronunciation (help·info) [ˈraːɦʊl ˈɡaːnd̪ʱiː]; (born 19 June 1970) is the Vice-President of the Indian National Congress (INC) 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-highest ranked member of the Congress Working Committee.
Gandhi comes from the politically influential Nehru–Gandhi family. 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 when he ran for and won his father's old Lok Sabha (lower house of Indian Parliament) seat of Amethi, Uttar Pradesh. A few years later, in 2007, Gandhi was elected as the General Secretary of the Congress party, an executive post also held in the past by his father, and by his great-grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru. Amidst calls from Congress party veterans for his greater involvement in party politics and national government, Gandhi was elected Congress Vice-President in 2013.
Gandhi led the INC campaign in the 2014 Indian general election in which the INC suffered its worst electoral result in its history, winning only 44 seats compared to 206 seats won previously in the 2009 general election.
Early life and career
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 the Tamil Tigers (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 and his sister, Priyanka managed their mother's campaign for re-election to Rae Bareilly in 2006, which was won with a victory margin of over 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.
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 criticising the Prime Minister of India and his government for coming out with an ordinance to undo the effect of the order passed by the Supreme Court of India by which convicted criminals could not contest elections.
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 efforts as a lawmaker have centred around anti-corruption legislation and those that provide definitive rights to specific segments of society. Gandhi pushed for six pieces of draft legislation: 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 the empowerment of women. He 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 200,000 to 2.5 million. 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."
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi retained his Amethi seat by defeating his nearest rival by a margin of over 370,000 votes. Gandhi was credited with the Congress revival in Uttar Pradesh where they won 21 out of the total 80 Lok Sabha seats. He spoke at 125 rallies across the country in six weeks. The nationwide elections defied the predictions made by pre-poll predictions and exit polls and gave a clear mandate to the incumbent Congress-led UPA government.
Land acquisition protests arrest
On 11 May 2011, Gandhi was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police at Bhatta Parsaul village after he turned out in support of agitating farmers demanding more compensation for their land being acquired for a highway project. Rahul stood with the farmers for over 15 hours as they were demanding their rights. Gandhi was taken away from the protest site in Bhatta Parsaul to the Kasna police station. Later, in around three hours, he was given bail and dropped off at the Delhi-UP border.
2012 Assembly elections
Gandhi campaigned during the 2012 Assembly elections in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh election for almost two months, holding 200 rallies. However Congress emerged as the fourth party in the state, winning 28 seats, an increase of six seats from the previous 2007 elections. Out of the 15 seats in the Amethi parliamentary constituency, Congress won 2 of the 15 seats.
Congress activists defended the result in Uttar Pradesh, saying "there's a big difference between state elections and national polls and in the end there is only the first family, a hope and a prayer", and pointing out the turn around attributed to Gandhi in the 2009 Lok Sabha national elections in the state. However, Rahul Gandhi publicly accepted responsibility for the result in an interview after the result was declared.
In the Gujarat assembly elections held later in the year, Gandhi was not made the head of the election campaign. This was seen and regarded by opponents as an admission of defeat and was termed as a tactic to avoid blame of defeat. Congress won 57 seats in the assembly of 182, which was 2 less than the previous elections in 2007. Later in bypolls, Congress lost 4 more seats to BJP.
After Parliament cleared the Lokpal Bill and the Lokayuktas Bill, 2013, Rahul Gandhi has been actively participated in promoting six other anti-corruption bills in the parliament. He talks about them in his public rallies. These bills are the Public Procurement Bill, the Prevention of Corruption Act (Amendment) Bill, the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Bill, Electronic Delivery of Services Bill, The Right of Citizens for Time-bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill and the Whistleblowers Protection Bill has been.
Indian general election, 2014
Gandhi contested the Indian general election, 2014 from his constituency, Amethi. and led the election campaign of the Indian National Congress. Gandhi held the Amethi seat by defeating his nearest rival, BJP's Smriti Irani, by a reduced margin of 107,000 votes. Under his leadership, the Indian National Congress suffered its worst ever performance in elections and won only 44 seats compared to 206 seats won previously in the 2009 general election. The Congress-led electoral alliance, the UPA also had its worst ever performance in elections and won only 59 seats compared to 262 seats won previously in the 2009 general election.
In December 2010 during the United States diplomatic cables leak, WikiLeaks leaked a cable dated 3 August 2009, where the Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh had hosted a lunch on 20 July 2009 for Rahul Gandhi, then the General Secretary of the AICC. One of the guests who was invited for the lunch was the then United States Ambassador to India, Timothy J. Roemer. In a "candid conversation" with Roemer, he said that he believes Hindu extremists pose a greater threat to his country than Muslim militants. Rahul Gandhi referred specifically to more-polarising figures in the Bharatiya Janata Party. Also responding to the ambassador's query about the activities in the region by the Islamist militant organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Rahul Gandhi said there was evidence of some support for the group among certain elements in India's indigenous Muslim population. In a response to this, the BJP heavily criticised Rahul Gandhi for his statements. BJP spokesperson, Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed Rahul Gandhi saying that his language was a bigger threat to India, dividing the people of the country on communal grounds. Speaking to reporters, Prasad said, "In one stroke Mr. Rahul Gandhi has sought to give a big leverage to the propaganda to all the extremist and terrorist groups in Pakistan, and also some segments of Pakistani establishment. It would also seriously compromise India's fight against terror as also our strategic security." Adding that terrorism has no religion, he said that Rahul Gandhi had shown his lack of understanding India.
After the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, at a Madhya Pradesh election rally in Indore, Rahul Gandhi claimed that a police officer has told him that Pakistan's ISI was trying to recruit disgruntled riot-affected youngsters. However, the district administration, the UP state government, the Union Home Ministry, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) denied any such development. This remark drew heavy criticism from various political outifts such as BJP, SP, CPI and JD(U). Congress's Jairam Ramesh said Gandhi needed to apologise to the Muslim community for this remark. In reply to the ECI's show-cause notice to explain why action should not be initiated against him for violating the Model Code of Conduct, Gandhi said that he didn't intend to exploit communal sentiments but was referring to divisive politics. The BJP also asked the government to explain why Gandhi, who holds no post in the government, is being briefed by intelligence officers on important security issues. On 13 November 2013, Election Commission of India finding Gandhi's explanation to be insufficient conveyed its displeasure and advised him to be more circumspect in his public utterances during election campaigns.
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".
- "Rahul Gandhi gets bigger role in Congress, appointed party vice-president". The Times of India. 19 January 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- Rahul completed education in US under a false name – India – DNA. Daily News and Analysis. (30 April 2009). Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- "After its worst defeat ever in Lok Sabha elections, what can Congress do to recover?". Daily News & Analysis. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Detailed Profile: Shri Rahul Gandhi". India.gov.in. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- M. V. Kamath. "Does Congress want to perpetuate Nehru-Gandhi dynasty?". Samachar. Archived from the original on 28 October 2006. Retrieved 9 February 2007.
- "Unplugged: Rahul Gandhi – The Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- Sanjay Hazarika (16 July 1989). "Foes of Gandhi make targets of his children". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
- "The accused, the charges, the verdict". Frontline. 7 February 2010.
- "Newsweek apologises to Rahul Gandhi". The Indian Express. 27 January 2007.
- A Question Of TheHeir & Now. Outlook India. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- "Cambridge varsity confirms Rahul's qualifications". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 29 April 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "The Great White Hope: The Son Also Rises". Rediff. 13 April 2004.
- "Want to be CEO of Rahul Gandhi's firm?". Rediff. 24 June 2004. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- "Rahul attacks 'divisive' politics". BBC News. 12 April 2004. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- Majumder, Sanjoy (22 March 2004). "Gandhi fever in Indian heartlands". BBC News. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- Biswas, Soutin (23 March 2004). "The riddle of Rahul Gandhi". BBC News. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "India elections: Good day – bad day". BBC News. 2 June 2004. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "Varun' Feroze is better – BJP young gun set for entry to Lok Sabha picks his name". The Telegraph. 20 May 2006. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- Majumder, Sanjoy (11 May 2006). "India's communists upbeat over future". BBC News. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "Uttar Pradesh low caste landslide". BBC News. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "Rahul Gandhi gets Congress post". BBC News. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2007.
- "Rahul Gandhi gets Youth Congress Charge". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 25 September 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
- In the family way. Indian Express (3 October 2008). Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- "Cong directionless, only seen Rahul's cameos: Khurshid". 10 July 2012.
- "Rahul Gandhi gets bigger role in Congress, appointed party vice-president". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- "AICC endorses Rahul Gandhi as Congress vice president". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- "Rahul Gandhi calling ordinance on MPs 'complete nonsense' is pure politics: BJP". The Economic Times. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- Rahul Gandhi as PM? BJP, AAP cry foul over dynastic politics : North, News – India Today
- "BJP blocking six anti-corruption bills: Rahul Gandhi". The Economic Times. PTI. 15 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
- "Need to change medieval mindset for empowering women: Rahul Gandhi". Indian Express. 8 March 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "Rahul Gandhi stresses on women empowerment". Daily News and Analysis. 18 March 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "More to poor, women if voted back to power: Rahul Gandhi". Business Standard. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "Rajya Sabha passes Women's Reservation Bill". The Times of India. 9 March 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "Lok Sabha fails women again on quota issue". The Times of India. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "Agree more with the High Court: Rahul Gandhi on gay rights". NDTV. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "Rahul Gandhi appointed party general secretary". The Hindu. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- "Rahul Gandhi's strengths and weaknesses". CNN-IBN. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- "Rahul Gandhi's Youth Congress gets overwhelming response". DNA India. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- "Youth Congress loses battle to shed family, patronage, money". The Indian Express. August 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- "Sonia secures biggest margin, Rahul follows". The Times of India. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
- "Constituency Wise Detailed Results". Election Commission of India. p. 153. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "Rahul Gandhi plans 125-rally blitz, Sonia aims at 80". The Times of India. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- "India opts for the middle path". BBC News. 16 May 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Rahul Gandhi arrested in Greater Noida, released on bail in midnight drama". NDTV. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "I take responsibility, says Rahul Gandhi about UP results". NDTV. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- Benedict, Kay (12 March 2012). "Voters reject Congress icon Rahul Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh". India Today. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- Naqvi, Saba (19 March 2012). "Rahul Gandhi : Zero Worship?". Outlook India. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "Zero Worship?". Outlook India. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "Rahul Gandhi not to head Gujarat polls campaign". Economic Times. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- "Rahul Gandhi not campaigning in Gujarat to avoid blame of defeat: Narendra Modi". DNA. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- "Congress well aware of defeat in Gujarat, Rahul's speeches show off: BJP". Deccan Chronicle. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- "Six anti-corruption bills to be passed by parliament: Rahul Gandhi". Deccan Herald. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "BJP blocking 6 anti-corruption bills, says Rahul Gandhi". India Today. 15 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Rahul's next target: Passing 6 more anti-corruption bills". Hindustan Times. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
- "Rahul Gandhi to file nomination from Amethi today". The Times of India. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- Miglani, Sanjeev (17 January 2014). "Family heir Rahul Gandhi to lead party's election campaign". Reuters. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "Constituencywise-All Candidates". Election Commission of India. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014.
- "India election results in full". BBC News. 16 May 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Results". NDTV. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "The worst defeat: Where the Congress went wrong". IBN Live. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Reaching Out to Rahul Gandhi and Other Young Parliamentarians". Wikileaks. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
- Copy of diplomatic cable dated (16 December 2010). "US Embassy Cables: Ambassador Warned That Radical Hindu Groups May Pose Bigger Threat Than LeT in India". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- "Rahul Gandhi Responds to WikiLeaks Controversy on Hindu Extremism Remarks". NDTV. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
- RSS is 'fanatical' like banned outfit SIMI: Rahul. The Economic Times. 6 October 2010
- RSS as fanatical as SIMI: Rahul. Hindustan Times (6 October 2010). Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- Fresh row over Rahul Gandhi remark on UP riots | Latest News & Updates at DNAIndia.com
- Congress, BJP lock horns over Rahul Gandhi's ISI remark | Business Standard
- Home Ministry distances itself from Rahul Gandhi's ISI remarks
- Muzaffarnagar riot victims furious over Rahul Gandhi's ISI remark | NDTV.com
- Rahul Gandhi gets it from Left and Right for ISI remark – Times Of India
- Rahul Gandhi must say sorry to Muslims for Muzaffarnagar ISI remark: Jairam Ramesh – Times Of India
- Rahul Gandhi replies to Election Commission's notice over his ISI remark, denies model code violation : North, News – India Today
- Rahul Gandhi attacked for ISI remarks about Muzaffarnagar Muslims | NDTV.com
- "Election Commission's Order to Shri Rahul Gandhi". Election Commission of India. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- Sulekha news (27 August 2011). "Sushma tears into Rahul's address on Lokpal". Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- DNA correspondent (9 December 2011). "Anna Hazare blames Rahul Gandhi for 'ineffective' Lokpal Bill". Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "Rahul Gandhi mocks the poor, says poverty is just a state of mind". India Today. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Rahul Gandhi's 'poverty is a state of mind' remark draws flak". NDTV. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "My girlfriend is Spanish: Rahul Gandhi". The Indian Express. 28 April 2004.
- "I have a girlfriend in Venezuela: Rahul". The Island. 30 July 2004.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rahul Gandhi.|
- Profile for the Indian National Congress
- Profile at BBC News
- Rahul Gandhi First Interview with Arnab Gosweami Film Fog
- Rahul Gandhi collected news and commentary at The Times of India
- Rahul Gandhi collected news and commentary at Zee News
- Rahul Gandhi collected news and commentary at CNN-IBN
- Rahul Gandhi collected news and commentary at The Indian Express