Rahul Gandhi, who has been the party vice-president for over four years since 2013, on Saturday officially took over the mantle of the 132-year-old Congress party from his mother Sonia Gandhi who headed the party for 19 years since 1998 and has been the longest-serving president of India's Grand Old Party.
The Gandhi scion was handed over a certificate appointing him as the Congress president in the presence of mother Sonia Gandhi and other senior party leaders including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, current and former chief ministers, MPs and all PCC chiefs and delegates.
Sonia Gandhi has retired as Congress president but not from politics: Randeep Surejwala
Rahul Gandhi addressed Congress party workers: As it happened
12:01 pm: Congress is an ancient India. BJP would have you believe they are oldest idea in the universe, as usual this is not the truth .In India, there are two ideas that have clashed, idea of self vs the other. BJP are soldiers fighting for self. Congress guided by service of community.
11:58 am: It is with deepest humility, that I accept this position (of Congress president) knowing that I will always be walking in the shadow of giants.
11:57 am: We consider the BJP as our brothers and sisters, but we do not agree with them. They (BJP) crush voices but we allow them to speak, they defame we respect & defend.
11:55 am: And if there is anyone who can stop what the BJP is doing, it is the 'pyara karyakarta & neta' of Congress. We are going to make Congress, grand old and young party. We will fight the politics of anger.
11:54 am: You have an example in front of you, once fire breaks out it is difficult to douse it, that is what we are telling the people of BJP, that if you set the nation on fire it will be difficult to control. Today, BJP has spread the fire of violence across the country.
11:53 am: We are now being compelled to imagine that businesses can be built without harmony that only one man himself is the voice of reason. Expertise, experience and knowledge can be cast aside for personal glory.
11:52 am: Congress took India to 21st century, but the PM, today, is taking us back to the medieval times.
11:52 am: Many of us are disillusioned by politics of our time. Today, politics is devoid of kindness and truth.
11:51 am: Politics belongs to the people, but today politics is not being used for people. It is not being used to uplift people, but to crush them.
11:50 am: BJP is spreading violence in India.
11:54 am Politics today devoid of kindness and truth, it is being used to crush people.
11:53 am: We fight for those who can't fight their own..
11:52 am: Rahul Gandhi attack PM Modi in his first speech.
11:45 am: Rahul Gandhi is addressing party workers after his coronation.
SONIA GANDHI ADDRESSED CONGRESS PARTY WORKERS
11:42 am: Our country's foundation and shared traditions are being attacked, there is an environment of fear, says Sonia Gandhi.
11:38 am: In 1984, Indira ji was assassinated and I felt I had lost my mother and that incident changed my life forever, says Sonia Gandhi.
11:35 am: Indira Gandhi treated me like her own daughter and I learnt a lot about India from her, says Sonia Gandhi.
11:28 am: Before I start my address, I congratulate and bless Rahul ji for taking charge as Congress president, says Sonia Gandhi.
11:20 am: Now that Sonia ji is handing over reins of the party to Rahul ji we salute Sonia ji for uniting the leadership, something that she has been doing since 19 years. Rahul ki brings a new sense of dedication and commitment (as party president), says Manmohan Singh.
11:19 am: Rahul has been trained for a long period, he brings to the Congress office a new sense of commitment, says former prime minister Manmohan Singh.
11:18 am: Ceremony begins with Vande Mataram.
11:10 am: Celebrations outside AICC in Delhi as Rahul Gandhi takes charge as Congress president.
11:09 am: Rahul Gandhi formally takes over as Congress president.
10:58 am: Rahul Gandhi arrives at Congress headquarters.
10:45 am: Sonia Gandhi leaves 10 Janpath, Priyanka Gandhi arrives at Congress headquarters.
10:32 am: Today we take a pledge for a new movement: Free from Fear, Free from Fascism, Free from Prejudices, For Equity, For True Democracy, New Energy, Newer steps, New Challenges & Navsarjan ! Under the leadership of Rahulji, We shall write a golden chapter for Our Nation! ????, tweets Congress' Randeep Surjewala.
10:30 am: Rahul Gandhi to be crowned as Congress president shortly.
09:42 am: Both Sonia as well as Rahul Gandhi will address party workers.
09:05 am: Sonia Gandhi will continue to be chairperson of UPA, say Congress sources.
08:40 am: Reacting to the development, Congress leader Sachin Pilot said Rahul Gandhi had always been a unanimous choice of the lakhs of workers across India, and would infuse a new energy into the party. "It is a momentous occasion for the Congress party. For 19 years, Sonia Gandhi has led the Congress. Rahul Gandhi has been a unanimous choice of the lakhs of workers across India who has elected him as the president of the party. It's a matter of great joy. Rahul Gandhi has lot of challenges ahead of him. He is an honest person. He allows space for discussion with humility. His becoming the president will infuse a new energy into the Congress Party," Pilot said.
Delhi: Dance being performed as supporters gather outside Rahul Gandhi's residence 12, Tughlak Lane, ahead of his takeover as Congress President. pic.twitter.com/LLqsJGda6V— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2017
08:25 am: Meanwhile, supporters and party workers were seen bursting crackers and raising slogans in support of the Gandhi scion outside Congress headquarters at Delhi's Akbar Road. Posters and hoardings have also been put up in area around All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in Delhi.
08:15 am: Rahul's unopposed election was foresighted as no one challenged his nomination or file papers. A total 89 nominations were filed for Rahul Gandhi by various Congress leaders and workers from across the country.
Visuals from outside Congress HQ in Delhi; sweets brought in, supporters continue to celebrate & raise slogans ahead of Rahul Gandhi's takeover as party President. pic.twitter.com/e62Fgumr7t— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2017
08:00 am: The development also comes just two days before the counting of votes for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections takes place.
07:45 am: On Friday, Sonia Gandhi had announced that it was time for her to retire. However, later the Congress party said that she has only retired from the party chief's role and not from politics.