Rahul Gandhi will take over the reins of the Congress party on Saturday. This marks the beginning of the new era in the Grand Old Party, which has so far seen the leadership of Sonia Gandhi for 19 years.
Here are the major updates on this political story:
11:26 am: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his address at the event not only congratulated Rahul Gandhi but also appreciated Sonia Gandhi for her stellar role as Congress president:
11:22 am: How was Rahul Gandhi’s journey over the years: here’s DNA’s special video
11:17 am: As the new era begins at Congress, DNA looks back at the time of Sonia Gandhi, the longest-serving Congress president
11:16 am: Himanta Biswa Sharma is among the first politicians to react to Rahul Gandhi’s elevation:
11:13 am: The moment is here! Rahul Gandhi is now president of Congress party:
11:04 am: Gandhi reaches party headquarters, official elevation shortly
10:58 am: Rahul Gandhi on his way to Congress headquarters
10:55 am: Some real cool dance moves there!
10:50 am: Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra have reached the Congress Headquarters.
10:43 am: Fact check: Rahul Gandhi will be the 87th president of the 132-year-old party.
Of the 15 people who led the Congress post-Independence, four belonged to the Gandhi-Nehru family. Rahul Gandhi will be the fifth from the family. The Nehru-Gandhi clan was at the helm of affairs of the party after Independence for 38 years: Pt Nehru for three years, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi for eight years each, and Sonia Gandhi for a record 19 years. Motilal Nehru also headed the party, the first from the family to do so.
10:38 am: So sweet! From laddoos to jalebis, this stall right outside Congress headquarters is distributing sweets to everyone:
10:32 am: Supporters from every part of India have gathered to celebrate the Rahul era. Seen here: an enthusiastic dance performance by an artist as security personnel look on
10:29 am: Song, dance and crackers, celebration is in the air at 24, Akbar Road:
What you must know about change of guard at Congress:
a: Rahul Gandhi will receive a formal certificate of being elected as the Congress president unopposed from the party’s central election authority at a function at the party headquarters in New Delhi today.
b: The 47-year-old will take the charge from his mother Sonia Gandhi, who has been the longest serving president of the Congress.
c: Sonia Gandhi, who became Congress president in 1998, steered the 132-year-old party for 19 years.
d: Sonia Gandhi’s two-decade long stint saw the Congress-led UPA winning two successive Lok Sabha polls in 2004 and 2009 and formed UPA-I and UPA-II governments.
e: On Friday, the media was abuzz with stories about Sonia Gandhi’s retirement.
f: Congress, however, clarified that she is retiring from the post of party president and not from politics.
g: The reluctance shown by Rahul Gandhi in his initial years of politics is now a thing of past.
h The Gujarat Assembly Election saw him in an alll-new aggressive avatar. Be it going to temples or questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter, Rahul Gandhi managed to infuse new energy in the party’s poll camapign.
i: Though all major exit polls are showing the BJP victory in both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the fact remains that this would be solely seen in comparison with Rahul Gandhi’s aggressive campaigning.
j: At a time when the Congress has been reduced to limited political presence across India, Rahul Gandhi will have huge responsibility on his shoulders.