Rahul Gandhi Biography
Indian National Congress
Rahul Gandhi (born 19 June 1970) is an Indian politician,who serves as 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
Rahul comes from the 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, Rajiv Gandhi 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.
Education & Background
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 declares himself as a Brahmin.
Gandhi attended St. Columba's School, Delhi before entering The Doon Schoolin 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, Delhiin 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 Collegedue 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 Mumbaibased technology outsourcing firm Backops Services Private Ltd.While in 2004, Gandhi had told the press that he had a Spanish girlfriend, an architect, living in Venezuela, whom he had met while studying in England, in 2013 he suggested that he may not get married.
Rahul Gandhi As Politician
In March 2004, 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.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.He was elevated to the position of the vice-president of the party in January 2013.
Rahul Gandhi In Elections
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.
In 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. Gandhi was taken away from the protest site and later given bail and dropped off at the Delhi-UP border.
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.
Rahul Gandhi On Lokpal & Poverty
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".
During a rally in Allahabad, Gandhi said "Poverty is just a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty." The phrase "state of mind" drew sharp criticism with BJP Uttar Pradesh spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak alleging him to be mocking the poor.Oneindia News wrote that he made "economics irrelevant".