Gandhi to lead campaign for India ruling party

2014-01-17 10:03
Congress Party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi gestures as he addresses Congress supporters at the party's headquarters in Srinagar. (Tauseef Mustafa, AFP)

Congress Party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi gestures as he addresses Congress supporters at the party's headquarters in Srinagar. (Tauseef Mustafa, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New Delhi - Members of India's ruling Congress party erupted in rapturous applause on Friday for Rahul Gandhi, heir to the country's Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, who is leading the struggling party's campaign in a general election in May.

Congress announced late on Thursday that the party will not formally declare Gandhi as its candidate for prime minister, a bit of political manoeuvring aimed at protecting the 43-year-old from being a scapegoat for his party's problems.

But the election is still seen as a contest that pits Gandhi against a powerful opposition figure, Narendra Modi, whose Bharatiya Janata Party has significant momentum after trouncing Congress in state polls in December.

The state polls were seen as a gauge of voter sentiment in India, a country of 1.2 billion people and the world's biggest democracy.

A birthright

On Friday, thousands of Congress party leaders and workers hoisted posters of Gandhi and shouted "We want Rahul for PM" during a meeting in Delhi to prepare for the upcoming polls. They were asking Sonia Gandhi, the current head of the Congress party and Rahul's mother, to reverse her decision not to formally declare him as a candidate.

Rahul Gandhi was expected to address the crowd later on Friday.

But the euphoria comes at a time when the Congress Party's stock is low, battered by corruption scandals, internal feuding, and an inability to deal with a stumbling economy and deep-rooted problems with poverty, infrastructure and education.

Modi, meanwhile, has been chief minister of western Gujarat state for the past 11 years and is credited with turning it into an industrial haven. Critics question whether the Hindu nationalist chief can be a truly secular leader over India's many cultures.

Sonia Gandhi played on those fears on Friday, telling the gathering in New Delhi that the election "will be a battle for the preservation of our age old secular traditions".

Modi has denied any role in the Gujarat violence and says he bears no responsibility for the killings.

Manmohan Singh has been India's prime minister for the past 10 years but said this month he would not seek another term. A technocrat, he was chosen to fill the prime minister's seat in 2004 by Sonia Gandhi, the widow of assassinated Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

But he has been widely seen as a regent, keeping the seat warm until Rahul Gandhi was ready to take what some see as his birthright.

- AP
Read more on:    sonia gandhi  |  manmohan singh  |  rahul gandhi  |  india
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.