Political evolution of Rahul Gandhi

by Madhvi Bansal
Rahul Gandhi

Born in 1970, Rahul Gandhi was the first child of Rajiv Gandhi and Soniya Gandhi. He had completed his early education from The Doon School (Dehradun) and St’ Stephen’s College (Delhi) while higher studies were completed from Cambridge University. His first foray into the politics was in 2004 when he was the face of the party from the constituency Amethi.  He had won his first ever election with more than one lakhs of vote. This enabled him to get the titles like ‘Prince’ however the opposition never failed to attack him through targeting his dynasty.

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Journey as the general Secretary of Congress

In 2007, through no-objection in the Congress party, Rahul Gandhi was appointed as the general secretary of the party. After this, he also took the charge of Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India to keep up the spirit of Congress among the youth. 

The major challenge that posed in front of Rahul was in 2009 when he had campaigned for Congress in Uttar Pradesh. Though, Congress had been struggling to make a win in the state, it had been able to win 22 seats out of 80 seats in total. However, in 2010 Congress was not able to do well in Bihar state elections. It had won 4 out of 243 seats in the state assembly. 

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In 2012 UP elections, the party had followed his strategies which were quite high profile campaigns. This led the Congress to suffer a major crash.  Hence, Rahul Gandhi refused to hold any cabinet ministerial post in Manmohan Singh’s government. Smilarly in 2012, Congress faced a humiliating defeat against BJP. He also earned the mockery title ‘Pappu’. Some politicians even called Rahul’ ‘Shahzada’ as he was out of the touch of reality. Congress too hesitated in making Rahul as the face of the party.

From a novice to the primary challenger

 In 2017, Rahul Gandhi was nominated as the President of the Congress party. Since then he had been shouldering the responsibility to retain the respect and position of the Congress that it once had after independence. 2019 Lok Sabha elections was a turning point for him and he had campaigned hard to win the elections. However, he was unable to win the confidence of the public which led to the failure of Congress.  Yet, it cannot be denied that Rahul was a primary challenger to the BJP.

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