Rahul gandhi News, Age, Education, Bharat jodo yatra, Net worth & More

Indian politician

Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi in 2018
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
Incumbent
Assumed office
23 May 2019
Preceded by M I Shanavas
Constituency Wayanad, Kerala
In office
17 May 2004 – 23 May 2019
Preceded by Sonia Gandhi
Succeeded by Smriti Irani
Constituency Amethi, Uttar Pradesh
President of the Indian National Congress
In office
16 December 2017 – 10 August 2019
Preceded by Sonia Gandhi
Succeeded by Sonia Gandhi
Vice-President of the Indian National Congress
In office
19 January 2013 – 16 December 2017
President Sonia Gandhi
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
General Secretary of Indian National Congress
In office
25 September 2007 – 19 January 2013
President Sonia Gandhi
Chair of Indian Youth Congress
Incumbent
Assumed office
25 September 2007
Preceded by Position established
Chair of National Students’ Union of India
Incumbent
Assumed office
25 September 2007
Preceded by Position established
Personal details
Born (1970-06-19) 19 June 1970 (age 52)
New Delhi, India
Political party Indian National Congress
Parent(s) Rajiv Gandhi (father)
Sonia Gandhi (mother)
Relatives Nehru–Gandhi family
Education
  • Rollins College
    (Bachelor of Arts)
  • Trinity College, Cambridge
    (Master of Philosophy)
Signature
Website Official website

Rahul Gandhi (pronunciation (help·info) Hindustani pronunciation: ; born 19 June 1970) is an Indian politician and a member of the Indian Parliament, representing the constituency of Wayanad, Kerala in the 17th Lok Sabha A member of the Indian National Congress, he served as the president of the Indian National Congress from 16 December 2017 to 3 July 2019 Gandhi is the chairperson of the Indian Youth Congress, the National Students Union of India also a trustee of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust

Born in New Delhi, Gandhi spent his early childhood between Delhi and Dehradun and stayed away from the public sphere for much of his childhood and early youth He attained primary education in New Delhi and Dehradun but was later homeschooled because of security concerns Gandhi began his undergraduate career at St Stephen’s College before moving to Harvard University Gandhi transferred to Rollins College in Florida due to security threats following the assassination of his father, the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi He graduated in 1994 The next year, Gandhi obtained his MPhil from Cambridge Post-graduation, he began his professional career with the Monitor Group, a management consulting firm in London He soon returned to India and established the Mumbai-based technology outsourcing firm, Backops Services Private Ltd

In 2004, Gandhi announced to enter active politics and successfully contested the general elections held that year from Amethi, a seat that was earlier held by his father; he won again from the constituency in 2009 and 2014 Amidst calls from Congress party veterans for his greater involvement in party politics and national government, Gandhi was elected Congress Vice-President in 2013, having served as the General Secretary previously Gandhi led the Congress’s campaign in the 2014 Indian general elections; the party suffered its worst electoral result in its history, winning only 44 seats compared to 206 seats won previously in the 2009 general election

In 2017, Gandhi succeeded his mother as Congress party leader and led the Congress into the 2019 Indian general election The Indian National Congress won 52 seats, failing to get 10% of the seats needed to claim the post of Leader of Opposition After this poor performance in the election, Gandhi resigned as party leader and was succeeded by his mother, Sonia Gandhi

Early life and background

Further information: Nehru–Gandhi family

Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi with President of India Patil and Vice President Ansari at the memorial for his grandmother Prime Minister Indira Gandhi 2009

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 (née Maino), who later became the president of Indian National Congress, and as the grandson of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi His paternal grandfather Feroze Gandhi was a Parsi from Gujarat 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

Gandhi attended St Columba’s School, Delhi before entering The Doon School in Dehradun, Uttarakhand from 1981 to 1983 Meanwhile, his father 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, Gandhi, and his sister, Priyanka was home-schooled thereafter

Gandhi joined St Stephen’s College, Delhi (an affiliated college of the University of Delhi) in 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 College in Florida, USA, supposedly due to security concerns and obtained his BA in 1994 During his time at Rollins, 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 MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1995

Before joining politics, Gandhi, worked at the Monitor Group, a management consulting firm, in London for three years In 2002, Gandhi returned to India and set up his technology consultancy viz Backops Services Private Ltd in Mumbai, where he was one of the directors of the firm He then opened BackOps UK, a firm which used to acquire defence contracts from foreign companies that supplied to the Indian armed forces Subramanian Swamy pointed out that Rahul Gandhi declared himself as British citizen in the company’s filings but the Congress party said that it was a yearly mistake Gandhi has been a strong proponent of harnessing the scale and dexterity that technology can lend while amplifying the power of citizens

Political career

Formative years

Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi meet Hillary Clinton, along with Dr Karan Singh in New Delhi 2009

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 His mother had held the seat until she transferred to the neighboring seat of Raebareli The Congress had been doing poorly in Uttar Pradesh, holding only 10 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state at the time At the time, this move generated surprise among political commentators, who had regarded his sister Priyanka Gandhi as being the more charismatic and likely to succeed It generated speculation that the presence of a young member of India’s most famous political family would reinvigorate the Congress party’s political fortunes among India’s youthful population In his first interview with foreign media, Gandhi portrayed himself as an uniter of the country and condemned “divisive” politics in India, saying that he would try to reduce caste and religious tensions Gandhi won, retaining the family stronghold with a victory margin of over 100,000 Until 2006, he held no other office Gandhi and his sister, Priyanka Gandhi managed their mother’s campaign for re-election to Raebareilly 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 853% 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

Youth politics

In September 2007 when he was appointed general secretary in charge of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) and the National Students Union of India (NSUI), Gandhi promised to reform youth politics In his attempt to prove himself thus, in November 2008 Gandhi held interviews at his 12 Tughlak Lane residence in New Delhi to handpick at least 40 people who will make up the think-tank of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC), an organization that he has been keen to transform since he was appointed general secretary in September 2007

Under Gandhi, the IYC and NSUI have seen a dramatic increase in members from 200,000 to 25 million The Indian Express wrote in 2011, “Three years later, as another organizational reshuffle is in the offing, Gandhi’s dream remains unrealized with party veterans manipulating internal elections in the Youth Congress and a host of people with questionable background gaining entry into it”

General election (2009)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sits next to Gandhi who leads a delegation of leaders from Bundelkhand region in New Delhi 2009

In the 2009 Indian general election, 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

2012 Assembly elections

Gandhi campaigned during the 2012 Assembly elections in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh election for almost two months, holding 200 rallies However, Congress ranked 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 two

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, 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 the 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

General election (2014)

Main article: 2014 Indian general election

Gandhi contested the 2014 Indian general election from his constituency, Amethi, and led the election campaign of the Indian National Congress Gandhi held the Amethi seat by defeating his nearest rival, BJP’s Smriti Irani, by a reduced margin of 107,000 votes Under his leadership, the Indian National Congress suffered its worst-ever performance in elections and won only 44 seats compared to 206 seats won previously in the 2009 general election The Congress-led electoral alliance, the UPA also had its worst-ever performance in elections and won only 59 seats compared to 262 seats won previously in the 2009 general election After the defeat, Gandhi offered to resign his posts, only to be rejected by the party’s working committee

Post-general election

National Herald corruption case

In the National Herald corruption case, the Delhi High Court dismissed the appeals of Sonia Gandhi, and five others which included Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, and Satyan Pitroda in December 2015, and ordered them to appear in person before the trial court on 9 December In 2016, the Supreme Court of India granted an exemption to Gandhi accused in the case The Congress party, raised objections to the complaint filed by Subramanian Swamy, labelling it as “politically motivated”

Indian general election, 2019

Gandhi speaking to a rally in Karnataka

Rahul Gandhi speaks at a press conference after the announcement of results of 2019 Indian general election, as seen from The Ridge, Shimla

Gandhi used the slogan “Chowkidar Chor Hai” as a jibe against Narendra Modi, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2019 Indian general election The slogan was aimed at Modi about the alleged irregularities and favoritism in awarding the contracts for the Rafale fighter jet deal The said case was considered by the Supreme Court of India and after carefully going through all the evidence, the high court dismissed the case and exonerated the current government of India

Gandhi led the election campaign of the Indian National Congress party Under his leadership, the party improved its seat count from 44 out of 543 in 2014 to 52 out of 542 in 2019 It also boosted its vote from 193% to 195% in 2019 The Indian National Congress won 52 seats, failing to get 10% of the seats needed to claim the post of Leader of Opposition After this poor performance in the election, Gandhi resigned as party leader and was succeeded by his mother, Sonia Gandhi Gandhi contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election from two constituencies, Amethi, Uttar Pradesh and Wayanad, Kerala Gandhi won the Wayanad seat in the 2019 general elections with over 60 percent vote share However, he lost his existing seat of Amethi to the former soap opera actress Smriti Irani of the BJP by a margin of 55,120 votes

Bharat Jodo Yatra (2022)

Main article: Bharat Jodo Yatra

Gandhi in Telangana during Bharat Jodo Yatra

Bharat Jodo Yatra, literally a ‘unite India march’ was started by Rahul Gandhi on September 7, 2022 The March will cover 3,500 km in close to five months across 12 States and two Union Territories to reach Kashmir

Electoral performances

Year Election Party Constituency Name Result Votes gained Vote share%
2004 14th Lok Sabha Indian National Congress  Amethi Won 390,179 6618%
2009 15th Lok Sabha Amethi Won 464,195 7178%
2014 16th Lok Sabha Amethi Won 408,651 4671%
2019 17th Lok Sabha Amethi Lost 413,394 4386%
Wayanad Won 706,367 6467%

Positions held

Gandhi has held the following positions;

Year Description
2004 Elected to 14th Lok Sabha

  • Member, Standing Committee on Home Affairs (2004–06)
  • Member, Standing Committee on Human Resource Development (2006–09)
2009 Elected to 15th Lok Sabha (2nd term)

  • Member, Standing Committee on Human Resource Development
  • Member, Consultative Committee on Rural Development
2014 Elected to 16th Lok Sabha (3rd term)

  • Member, Standing Committee on External Affairs
  • Member, Consultative Committee on Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs
2019 Elected to 17th Lok Sabha (4th term)

  • Member, Standing Committee on Defence
  • Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of External Affairs

Within party

Year Position Preceded by Succeeded by
2007 – 2013 General secretary of INC
2007 – Incumbent (as of 2020) Chairperson of Indian Youth Congress Position established Incumbent (as of 2020)
2007 – Incumbent (as of 2020) Chairperson of NSUI Position established Incumbent (as of 2020)
2013 – 2016 Vice president of INC Position established Position abolished
2017 – 2019 President of INC Sonia Gandhi Sonia Gandhi (interim)

Political and social views

National security

68th United States Secretary of State John Kerry with Gandhi at the Roosevelt House in New Delhi

In December 2010 during the United States diplomatic cables leak, WikiLeaks leaked a cable dated 3 August 2009, where the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh had hosted a lunch on 20 July 2009 for Gandhi, then the General Secretary of the AICC One of the guests who was invited for the lunch was the United States Ambassador to India, Timothy J Roemer In a “candid conversation” with Roemer, he said that he believes Hindu extremists pose a greater threat to his country than Muslim militants Gandhi referred specifically to more-polarising figures in the Bharatiya Janata Party Also responding to the ambassador’s query about the activities in the region by the Islamist militant organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Gandhi said there was evidence of some support for the group among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim population In a response to this, the BJP heavily criticized Gandhi for his statements BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed Gandhi, saying that his language was a bigger threat to India, dividing the people of the country on communal grounds Speaking to reporters, Prasad said, “In one stroke Mr Rahul Gandhi has sought to give a big leverage to the propaganda to all the extremist and terrorist groups in Pakistan, and also some segments of the Pakistani establishment It would also seriously compromise India’s fight against terror as also our strategic security “Adding that terrorism has no religion, he said that Rahul Gandhi had shown his lack of understanding India Gandhi has also been critical of groups like the RSS and has compared them to terrorist organizations like SIMI

Rahul Gandhi with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

After the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, at a Madhya Pradesh election rally in Indore, Gandhi claimed that a police officer told him that Pakistan’s ISI was trying to recruit disgruntled riot-affected youngsters However, the district administration, the UP state government, the Union Home Ministry, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) denied any such development This remark drew heavy criticism from various political outfits such as BJP, SP, CPI and JD(U) Congress’s Jairam Ramesh said Gandhi needed to apologise to the Muslim community for this remark In reply to the ECI’s show-cause notice to explain why action should not be initiated against him for violating the Model Code of Conduct, Gandhi said that he didn’t intend to exploit communal sentiments but was referring to divisive politics

The BJP also asked the government to explain why Gandhi, who holds no post in the government, is being briefed by intelligence officers on important security issues On 13 November 2013, the Election Commission of India found Gandhi’s explanation to be insufficient conveyed its displeasure and advised him to be more circumspect in his public utterances during election campaigns

Lokpal

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 opined that Lokpal alone cannot root out corruption, rather a strong political will is needed to remove corruption This statement came out on 25 August 2011, on the 10th day of Anna Hazare’s fast Gandhi’s statement was considered a delaying tactic by the opposition and Team Anna’s members It was consequently slammed by 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 be made into a constitutional body

Farmers’ and Land Agitation

On 19 April 2015 Gandhi addressed the farmer and worker’s rally, named as Kisan Khet Mazdoor Rally in Ramlila Maidan Here he made “references to his agitations in Niyamgiri in Orissa and Bhatta-Parsaul in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh” The rally was attended by 1 lakh people In the speech he gave, he criticizeda the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi about his comment in Toronto where he said that he was “cleaning the mess created by previous governments” He also said “Do you know how Modi won the election He borrowed thousands of crores from industrialists for his several campaigns and advertisements How will he pay them back He will pay them back with your land He will give your land to his industrialist friends”

He razzed the government as a “suit-boot government”, a reference to Modi’s monogrammed suit which he wore in the Republic Day meeting with Barack Obama Moreover, he used the “acche din government” jibe (which was Modi’s election campaign slogan meaning “good days government”) and mentioned that it had “failed the country”

A land bill was introduced by the BJP government in the parliament in May which was criticized by the opposition parties Accusing the government of “murdering” UPA’s land bill, Gandhi promised to prevent the bill from being passed, if not in the parliament then would “stop you on streets” He further accused the government of diluting the bill and called it “anti-farmer” Gandhi also drew a parallel between “daylight robbery” and the bill On 26 May, the day of the Modi government’s first anniversary, Gandhi commented at a rally in Kozhikode “Unfortunately, birthday celebrations is only for a few powerful friends of the government Kisan, farmers and mazdoor have nothing to celebrate

Women’s and LGBT rights

Gandhi has pushed for the empowerment of women He backed the Women’s Reservation Bill which would allow 33% reservation of all Lok Sabha and state legislative assembly seats for women This bill passed the Rajya Sabha on 9 March 2010 but has not yet been voted on by the Lok Sabha as of February 2014 A strong advocate of women’s rights and empowerment, Gandhi has called for 33% reservation of all parliamentary Lok Sabha and state legislative assembly seats for women, as well as government jobs Gandhi had backed the repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and the decriminalization of homosexuality

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