India’s Congress party names Rahul Gandhi president

Rahul Gandhi, Vice President of India’s main opposition Congress Party, is garlanded by supporters during an election campaign meeting, in Dakor, India, Dec.10, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 11 December 2017
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India’s Congress party names Rahul Gandhi president

NEW DELHI: India’s opposition Congress party named Rahul Gandhi as its new leader on Monday after years of speculation, calling it a “historic occasion.”
Senior Congress leader Mullappally Ramachandran said the 47-year-old had stood unopposed for election as the president of the party his family had led for generations.
“I hereby declare Shri Rahul Gandhi elected as the President of the Indian National Congress,” he told reporters outside the Congress headquarters in New Delhi.
“This is a historic occasion.”
The announcement caps years of speculation that the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty would take over from his 71-year-old mother Sonia who has led the party for nearly two decades.
Rahul, whose father, grandmother and great-grandfather all served as prime minister, has been her deputy since 2013 and led the campaign for the last general election.
He will officially take over on Saturday at a ceremony in New Delhi.
Congress party workers let off firecrackers and cheered as they celebrated the announcement.
“I have waited for this day for so many years. My joy knows no bounds,” said Prem Chowdhury, a long-time party member and former municipal councillor.
Rahul was strongly criticized for a lackluster campaign for the 2014 general election, in which Congress recorded its worst-ever showing and lost power to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.
Since the national election defeat, the party has lost polls in many states to the BJP, exposing him to further criticism.
But few inside the party have been willing publicly to criticize the family that has been at its helm for generations.


Mob lynches Muslim man over cow smuggling charges in India

Updated 32 min 16 sec ago
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Mob lynches Muslim man over cow smuggling charges in India

  • Cows are considered sacred in the Hindu-majority country, where attacks on minority groups, especially Muslims, have been on the rise
  • The mob intercepted two men carrying two cows around midnight in a forested and began punching and beating them with sticks

NEW DELHI: Police say a Muslim man has been beaten to death by a mob in western India over allegations of smuggling cows despite calls by the country’s highest court for immediate steps to stop such deadly violence.
Police say the mob intercepted two men carrying two cows around midnight in a forested area in Alwar district of Rajasthan state and began punching and beating them with sticks.
One managed to escape while the other was taken to a hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
Cows are considered sacred in the Hindu-majority country, where attacks on minority groups, especially Muslims, have been on the rise since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party swept national elections in 2014.