Rahul Gandhi extends family grip on India's Congress party

Congress President Rahul Gandhi during his coronation ceremony

In his first speech after officially taking over as Congress president on Saturday, Rahul Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking India down a "medieval path" and that people are being "butchered" for what they eat.

Uttam Kumar Reddy along with AICC Telangana in-charge secretary R.C. Khuntia, TPCC working president Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and other leaders met Rahul Gandhi at AICC headquarters in New Delhi and conveyed his wishes.

Neeraj Kumar, also a JD-U legislator and considered close to Bihar Chief Minister and party President Nitish Kumar said Rahul Gandhi was born with a silver spoon in mouth, and therefore, got the top Congress post.

The Modi government has been under fire in the past several months for an increase in inter-faith violence, including attacks by vigilantes largely targeting Muslims for allegedly consuming beef or killing cows which are sacred to Hindus.

But perseverance paid off and by 2004, Sonia had led the Congress to a surprise victory in the Lok Sabha elections and formed a coalition government with outside support from the Left parties.

"Personal attacks on my son have made him fearless".

Since then, the party has lost polls in many key states to the BJP, exposing Gandhi to further criticism. Gandhi was elected to the leadership of the Congress party unopposed and succeeds his mother, Sonia Gandhi. He expressed confidence that under Rahul Gandhi's leadership, the party would make a comeback in the entire country. Besides the Congress cadres, leaders of its frontal organizations like Seva Dal, Youth Congress, Mahila Congress and NSUI participated in the celebrations.

However, surveys Thursday showed the BJP would sweep Gujarat as well as elections in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. Gurpreet Mahajan, a political studies professor at Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, said Gandhi faces a tough task.

She recalled how tragic circumstances like the assassination of Indira Gandhi and her husband, Rajiv Gandhi, forced her to enter the world of politics. There are a large number of new people that we have to bring forward.

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