Rahul Gandhi was sworn in as the 16th President of the Congress party on Saturday. Gandhi took over the reins of the grand old party from his mother, Sonia Gandhi, who had been at the helm of party affairs for nearly two decades now.
Sonia was elected Congress President in 1998 and spearheaded the party during the 10 years of UPA-I and UPA-II.
Earlier this week, Rahul was elected as the president by the party unopposed while he was campaigning for Gujarat election. The transition bears an uncanny resemblance to the time when Sonia took over and the party clocked its worst performance since Independence in the 1999 elections, winning 114 seats. The Congress bounced back in 2004 and retained power in 2009 — it also won a string of Assembly elections from 2004 to 2014.
Below are the Highlights:
12:40 am: Celebrations are being done at various Congress party headquarters.
12:22 am: I am confident he will prove to be a good party President. He will face and help overcome the challenges the country is facing today: Ghulam Nabi Azad on new News Congress President.
12:21 am: A pivotal moment for a party that has always served India and believe that We the People have the power to shape our future, says Gaurav Gogoi.
12:17 am: Celebrations begin across the country as Rahul Gandhi takes charge of Congress.
12:13 am: A new era of value-based politics begins, says the leader of opposition in Kerala Assembly.
12:11 am: Congress is an ancient idea. BJP would have you believe they are the oldest idea in the universe, as usual, this is not the truth.In India, there are 2 ideas that have clashed, the idea of self vs the other. BJP are soldiers fighting for self. Congress guided by service of community: Rahul Gandhi.
12:08 am: We fight for those who cannot fight alone. This spirit of our freedom movement is the light of our party today: Rahul Gandhi.
12:06 am: I want the Congress party to become an instrument for dialogue between all of us. From all corners of our great country. And our dialogue will always be led by light and affection: Rahul Gandhi after becoming Congress President.
11:56 am: With deepest humility I accept this position, says Rahul Gandhi.
11:55 am: And if there is anyone who can stop what the BJP is doing, it is the ‘pyara karyakarta & neta‘ of Congress. We are going to make Congress, grand old and young party. We will fight the politics of anger: Rahul Gandhi.
11:53 am: We are now being compelled to imagine that businesses can be built without harmony that only one man himself is the voice of reason. Expertise, experience and knowledge can be cast aside for personal glory: Rahul Gandhi at AICC HQ.
11:50 am: We want to explain it to BJP that once you set something on fire, it’s very difficult to contain it. BJP is spreading that fire and violence in the country.
11:48 am: Congress took India to the 21st century, but the PM, today, is taking us back to the medieval times: Rahul Gandhi.
11:47 am: Many of us are disillusioned by politics of our time. Today, politics is devoid of kindness and truth: Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
11:44 am: I am an idealist, says politics belong to people but what we see today is not being used in service of people.
11:43 am: Rahul Gandhi begins addressing the party workers at AICC HQ after becoming the new President of the party.
11:41 am: Sonia Gandhi expresses confidence in a hopeful future for Congress under Rahul Gandhi.
11:40 am: Rahul Gandhi has faced the results of violence, but he faced personal attack in politics which made him fearless and strong-willed says, Sonia Gandhi.
11:36 am: Sonia Gandhi says that today there is an attack on its constitutional values, but we are not the one who fear from those constant attack. Urges Congress workers to safeguard the foundational values of the country.
11:34 am: Sonia Gandhi thanks, Congress workers and party leadership for their guidance and support in her presidency.
11:30 am: Sonia Gandhi says that after the murder of Indira Gandhi, my husband was also assassinated, and when I realised Congress party was getting weak facing new challenges, I decided to enter politics taking it as a responsibility.
11:28 am: Sonia Gandhi remembers Indira Gandhi says she was like her mother.
11:26 am: Sonia Gandhi unable to continue her speech due to excessive noise from celebratory firecrackers being burnt outside AICC HQ.
11:23 am: A new era and leadership is beginning in the party say Sonia Gandhi at AICC HQ.
11:22 am: Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi addresses at the AICC HQ, congratulates and blesses Rahul Gandhi on being elected the next President.
11:19 am: Today is a unique day in the history of the Congress party. Smt Sonia Gandhi has been the leader of the party for the last 19 years. During this period Smt Gandhi provided a powerful leadership: former PM Dr. Manmohan Singh
11:18 am: We depend upon you to transform the fear of politics and hate to hope, says former PM Manmohan Singh. the former PM hopes Congress will reach new glory under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
11:15 am: Former PM Manmohan Singh addresses at AICC HQ. Thanks, Sonia Gandhi for magnificent leadership.
11:08 am: Central Election Authority President Mullapally Ramachandran compares Rahul Gandhi swearing in with Lahore session when Jawaharlal Nehru took over as the President of Congress in 1929.
11:07 am: Rahul Gandhi takes charge as the new President of Congress.
11:04 am: watch the Live streaming of Rahul Gandhi’s swearing-in ceremony here.
11:02 am: Rahul Gandhi given the Certificate of Election by Central Election Authority President Mullapally Ramachandran.
10:59 am: Proceedings to formally hand over the reins of party to Rahul Gandhi begins at AICC HQ.
10:57 am: Rahul Gandhi sharing the stage with Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh and other leaders to take charge of Congress.
10:56 am: Rahul Gandhi arrives with Sonia Gandhi to take charge as the next Congress President.
10:51 am: Central Election Authority President Mullapally Ramachandran will hand over the Certificate of Election to the newly-elected Congress president.
10:50 am: Rahul Gandhi leaves for Congress HQ from his residence at 12 Tughlaq Lane.
10:48 am: Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the party was making a new resolve for the country. “Today we are taking a pledge for a new movement in India. Free from fear, for freedom of expression, for eliminating discriminations, for promoting brotherhood and saving democracy.”
10:47 am: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra reaches the AICC laws for the swearing-in ceremony of Rahul Gandhi as the next President.
10:43 am: Congress workers march from Rail Bhavan to All India Congress Committee office at 24, Akbar Road ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s takeover as the President of Congress Party.
10:41 am: Meanwhile, Congress party leadership and workers are thanking Sonia Gandhi for leadership.
10:40 am: Best wishes have been pouring in from across the country for Rahul Gandhi.
10:38 am: Rahul Gandhi will reach the Congress HQ at 11:00 am to formally be anointed as its next President.
10:30 am: Congress says that Sonia Gandhi will be a ‘building light’for the party.
10:25 am: PM Modi in his rallies had targetted the Congress over its process of electing Rahul Gandhi as the next Congress President.
10:00 am: Congress leaders arriving at the function to be part of the swearing-in ceremony of Rahul Gandhi.
9:49 am: Former union minister Ashwani Kumar said that “in a tough political battle ahead, Rahul Gandhi will need Sonia Gandhi’s counsel at every stage”.
9:47 am: Sonia’s one-line remark on Friday was in response to a question on what role she would assume after Rahul takes over the party amid speculation that she would be a “patron”.
9:45 am: The stage is set for Rahul Gandhi to finally take the reins of Congress from Sonia Gandhi after years of speculations and demands from Congress party workers.
9:40 pm: All preparations are complete for the coronation of Rahul Gandhi as new party President.
9:36 am: Sonia Gandhi has hinted at retirement from politics after vacating the top post for Rahul Gandhi. However, the top party leadership is denying any such development.
9:32 am: Supporters have been p[ouring in around Congress office and Rahul Gandhi’s residence since morning.
9:30 am: Congress leaders are terming it as a new era in the party as Rahul Gandhi is all set to take over as President.
9:12 am: Congress leaders are thanking Sonia Gandhi for her leadership for close to two decades.
9:10 am: Rahul Gandhi remembered and paid his tribute to the martyrs of the 1971 war on Vijay Diwas.
9:01 am: Gandhi will have a task of steering Congress to success in eight states that go to election in 2018.
8:58 am: Rahul targeted the government on issues related to employment, economy and development of the state.
8:50 am: Rahul Gandhi has been praised by the party leadership for the campaign that he led in Gujarat. The results of the election will be announced on December 18.
8:15 am: The party is geared up for its new leader in Rahul Gandhi as Sonia Gandhi passes the baton.
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