From the start with the decision that the Congress should not contest under a UPA umbrella, it is Rahul Gandhi who has been dictating the party’s campaign. A proud mother stepped back and let the son dictate the Congress response to the electoral challenge. Neither she, nor a less trusting congress was disappointed.
Sonia Gandhi and her son are sticking to the old script that has Manmohan Singh as a Prime Minister and sees Rahul gradually firming his hold over the party. To help him take control of his legacy are his band of young MPs (almost all have won). Season Second of Manmohan government will see a younger and a much more experienced cabinet. In retrospect, it is of course very easy to see a method behind Rahul’s idealistic leadership. The young’s strategy of focusing on the organization instead of going for opportunistic alliances has paid off. He refused to let either mockery or ridicule from his task. His campaign of overnight sleep at Dalithouses clearly struck a deeper chord than Mayawati’s self glorifying spree of installing her own status. An amazed congress watched in delight as the lost heart land finally turned in its favour. The Congress has more than doubled its count of nine MPs in UP in2004. Rahul has called it a vote in favour of development and against the traditional politics of casteism. It is also a vote for the kind of politics that the earnest young leader practices. Always quick to count its blessing the Congress is now daring to dream of winning back the state in the 2012 Assembly elections in U.P.
As the party’s star campaigner Rahul covered 22 States and 107 Constituencies trying to woo back the faithful. He cautioned Congressmen against falling into the BJFs India shining trap that only reached out to the rich. Even when he spoke of the nuclear deal, he talked of its benefits to the Kalavati’s rather than the Ambanis and the Mittals.
Rahul was born on June 19, 1970 in Delhi. He is the son of former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi (who was assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the year 1991) and present congress president Sonia Gandhi, grandson of Indira Gandhi and great grandson of Jawahar Lai Nehru. Rahul Gandhi attended Modern School, New Delhi. His admission to St. Stephen’s college was controversial as he was admitted on the basis of his abilities as a competitive pistol shooter. He left the college in 1990, after one year of education. He studied in Rollins College in Florida where he completed B.A. in 1994. Rahul has received an M.Phil in Development studies in 1995 after attending Trivity College, Cambridge from October 1994 to July 1995. Rahul Gandhi worked in London with a strategy constituency firm Monitor Group, before returning to India in late2002 to run an engineering and technology outsourcing firm in Mumbai.
Rahul Gandhi won the Amethi Loksabha seat in 2004 by 300500 votes and later he was appointed the National General Secretary of Congress in2007. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, he retained his Amethi constituency by defeating his nearest rival by a margin of over 333000 votes. In these elections congress is said to have revived itself in U.R by winning 21 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats and majority if the credit for this turnaround is given to only Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul turned the congress campaign into his own towards the end. Defying the conventional wisdom of the party he was ordained to inherit, force Rahul set the terms of engagement as allies turned out to be an ever shifting lot. He opted for a solo act in UP, the state that was once the Congress’s home. The Rahul doctrine has worked, the party has succeeded in regaining the space it had lost to the BSP and SP to a great extent. The Congress has more than doubled its tally in UP and the credit goes too entirely to him. He says that mandate is a challenge and the real work has just begun. “We will give you a new Congress party in UP” he has said echoing what his father had said after the massive victory in 1984. This election officially marks the rite of succession in the congress. And Rahul has flagged off himself from the Karmabhoomi of Gandhi’s. If the youthful Rahul displayed aggression on the campaign field, he also showed grace in victory praising L.K. Advani for “fighting a strong campaign with grit” Praise for one’s adversary and that too at a time when the impressive leader should be savouring his own victory shows a rare and mature brand of leadership. He also refused solo credit, claiming that “if anything has to be achieved it is by team work not alone.”
It has been proved that Rahul has a solid foresightness, mature political experience, communal balance in his speech and a strong will power to do some new. He is personally not interested in joining the cabinet but would focus party’s organizational structure. No doubt Rahul Gandhi is the first choice for next prime minister.