Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi ((born 19 June 1970) is an Indian politician and a member of the Indian Parliament, representing the constituency of WayanadKerala 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 and the National Students Union of India. He is also a trustee of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and 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. Stephens college before moving to Harvard University. Gandhi transferred to Rollins College in Florida due to security threats following his father’s, the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s, assassination. He graduated in 1994, the year after Gandhi obtained M.Phil. from Cambridge. After graduation, Gandhi 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 in 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. Rahul Gandhi led the INC’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.

 

 

Early life and background

Rahul 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, who later became President of Indian National Congress, and as the grandson of the then 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 NehruPriyanka Vadra is his younger sister and Robert Vadra is his brother-in-law. He identifies himself as a Hindu Brahmin.

Rahul Gandhi attended St. Columba’s School, Delhi before entering The Doon School in DehradunUttarakhand from 1981 to 1983. Meanwhile, his father had 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 were home-schooled thereafter.

Rahul 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, due to security concerns and obtained his B.A. 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 M.Phil. from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1995.

After graduation, Rahul Gandhi worked at the Monitor Group, a management consulting firm, in London for three years. In 2002, he was one of the directors of Mumbai-based technology outsourcing firm Backops Services Private Ltd.

 

Positions held

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)