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Rahul Gandhi is an Indian politician and also the current President of the Indian National Congress party. Born on 19th June, 1970 in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi belongs to the family of stalwarts who have held important positions in the history of Indian politics. His great grandfather Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India and his grandmother Indira Gandhi was the first and the only woman Prime Minister of the country. His father Rajiv Gandhi has also served as the Prime Minister of India and also was the President of the Indian National Congress Party. His mother Sonia Gandhi hails from Italy and now holds Indian citizenship. She is the current President of the Indian National Congress party. Rahul Gandhi is the eldest of two children and his younger sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is married to Robert Vadra, a businessman.
The fourth generation politician of the Nehru-Gandhi family, he is a Member of Parliament and represents the constituency of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. He also holds the position as the chairperson of the Indian Youth Congress and National Students Union of India (NSUI). Earlier he was the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee. Rahul Gandhi entered politics in 2004 when he declared that he would be contesting for the 2004 Lok Sabha Elections from the constituency of Amethi, the seat contested by his father and the former Prime Minister of India, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. At present he holds the second highest position as a Congress Committee Member and is also considered as the face of the party.
Rahul Gandhi's initial schooling was at St. Columba's School, Delhi and later he studied at the Doon School, Dehradun, Uttarakhand from 1981 to 1983. After the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the family including the children faced security threats from the extremists of the Sikh Community. This led to home schooling for Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi. Later in 1989 he joined St. Stephen's College but left after the first year and moved to Harvard University.
In 1991, his father Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the extremist outfit LTTE. Again due to security reasons he had to shift to Rollins College, Florida. He studies abroad under a pseudonym Raul Vinci, his identity being known only to a few university officials and security agencies. He completed his B.A. from Rollins College in 1994 and has obtained an M. Phil degree in Developmental Studies from the Trinity College, Cambridge in 1995. After obtaining his degrees, Gandhi worked at the Monitor Group, a management consulting firm in London. He later established a technology outsourcing firm in Mumbai called Backops Services Private Ltd.
In March 2004, Rahul Gandhi declared his entrance in politics and stated that he would contest on his father's seat of Amethi. This move came as a surprise to many as most of the political commentators regarded his sister Priyanka as being the more charismatic sibling and likely to succeed. The seat at that time was held by his mother Sonia Gandhi and she had to shift to the neighboring Rae Bareilly seat. Rahul Gandhi won the seat with a margin of 1,00,000 votes and he held no other position until 2006. Rahul and Priyanka also managed their mothers seat of Rae Bareilly in 2006 election and helped her to win the election. Rahul Gandhi was the prominent face for the Uttar Pradesh legislative elections of 2007.
In a reshuffle of the party in September 2007, he was appointed as the General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee as well as the charge for the Indian Youth Congress and National Students Union of India. Gandhi promised to reform politics especially youth politics.
In an attempt to prove himself, Gandhi held interviews at his residence in November 2008 and handpicked 40 people to make up the think tank of the Indian Youth Congress. Gandhi was keen to transform the Indian Youth Congress since he was appointed as its General Secretary and under his leadership, the IYC and NSUI saw a dramatic increase from 2,00,000 to 2.5 million. Rahul Gandhi contested the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections and retained his seat of the Amethi constituency. He was also acknowledged as the main contributor for the survival of Congress Party in Uttar Pradesh where the party won 20 Lok Sabha seats. Campaigning for the Congress party in the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections, he had travelled across the nation in six weeks and spoke at 125 rallies.
The Congress led UPA won the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections and Manmohan Singh once again became the Prime Minister. Ahead of the 2012 Assembly Elections in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi was arrested in Bhatta Parsaul village of Uttar Pradesh in May 2011 for supporting the farmers who were demanding more compensation for their land which were used for the highway project. During the assembly elections of 2012, Rahul Gandhi campaigned for almost two months holding more than 200 rallies which resulted in a rise of six seats compared to the 2007 elections. Rahul and his sister Priyanka also visited Pakistan to witness the first cricket series between India and Pakistan in 14 years.
In the party conclave of All India Congress Committee which was held in Jaipur on 19th January 2013, Rahul Gandhi was appointed as the Congress Vice President making him the second most powerful person in the party after his mother Sonia Gandhi, who is the party's president. On 27th September 2013, to everyone's surprise Rahul Gandhi openly criticized Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his government for coming out with an ordinance that would revoke the effect of the order passed by Supreme Court of India which states that convicted criminals could not contest elections.
In the 2014 general elections, Rahul Gandhi led the election campaign for Indian National Congress and contested the election from his constituency of Amethi. Gandhi won the election by defeating his nearest rival by 1,07,000 votes, but the party under his leadership suffered the worst performance and was able to win only 44 seats as compared to 206 seats in 2009. After the defeat, Gandhi offered to resign from his post but his offer was rejected by the party's working committee. In 2015, he mocked the Government as "Suit Boot ki Sarkar (suit-boot government)", as a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's suit which he wore in the Republic Day meeting with Barack Obama.
Moreover he said that the "Acche Din" government has failed the country. On 26th May 2015, the first anniversary of Modi Government, Rahul Gandhi commented at a rally that "Unfortunately, birthday celebrations is only for a few powerful friends of the government. Kisan, farmers and mazdoor have nothing to celebrate." Gandhi has pushed for the empowerment of women and backed the Women's Reservation Bill. He also backed the repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and decriminalization of homosexuality.
"Rahul: The first Authoritative Biography" and "Decoding Rahul Gandhi" are the two books written on him. In 2004, Rahul had told that he had a Spanish girlfriend who is an architect living in Venezuela. He had met her while studying in England. In 2013, he suggested that he may not get married.
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