LIVE: Highlights of Rahul's 1st speech as Cong president: 'Accept this position with humility'

New Delhi, Dec 16: A new era dawns on the oldest party of the biggest democracy of the world. Rahul Gandhi will formally take over as chief of the Congress party on Saturday, from his mother Sonia Gandhi who had helmed the country's oldest party for 19 years.Sweets have been brought in, while supporters continue to celebrate and raise slogans ahead of Rahul Gandhi's takeover as party president. The 47-year-old Rahul Gandhi formally takes over the reins of the grand old party two days before the counting of votes for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections, the outcome of which could be a trendsetter ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Here are the LIVE updates of gala event leading:

-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 2 ideas that have clashed, idea of self vs the other. BJP are soldiers fighting for self. Congress guided by service of community:Rahul Gandhi

-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: Rahul Gandhi

- 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: Rahul Gandhi

-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: Rahul Gandhi

-Congress took India to 21st century, but the PM, today, is taking us back to the medieval times: Rahul Gandhi

-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: Rahul Gandhi

-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: Rahul Gandhi

-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: Rahul Gandhi

-Many of us are disillusioned by politics of our time. Today, politics is devoid of kindness and truth: Congress President Rahul Gandhi

-Blatant personal attacks, have made Rahul Gandhi a stronger person: Sonia Gandhi

-Rahul is my son, so I do not think for me to praise him is right but I would say that since childhood he had to bear the brunt of violence, after joining politics he had to face blatant personal attacks, that have made him a stronger person: Sonia Gandhi

-Our country's foundation and shared traditions are being attacked, there is an environment of fear: Sonia Gandhi

-Indira JI passed away, after which Rajiv Ji also passed away, my support was taken away from me and it took me a long while to come to terms with it: Sonia Gandhi

-I learnt a lot from Indiraji about the great marvels of India

-Before I start my address, I congratulate & bless Rahul Ji for taking charge as Congress President: Sonia Gandhi

-Indira Gandhi treated me like her own daughter & I learnt a lot about India from her: Sonia Gandhi

-Manmohan Singh: 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 Ji brings a new sense of dedication and commitment (as party president)

-I am sure the party will scale new heights of glory: Manmohan Singh after Rahul Gandhi took charge as Congress President

-Celebration outside AICC in Delhi as Rahul Gandhi takes charge as Congress President.

LIVE: New Congress President Rahul Gandhi formally takes charge  as Congress President, handed over the certificate for taking over

-Rahul Gandhi takes charge as Congress President, handed over the certificate for taking over

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-Rahul Gandhi & Sonia Gandhi arrive together at AICC HQ for Rahul Gandhi's swearing in as Congress President


Party workers burst crackers and raise slogans in support of Gandhi outside Congress HQ at Delhi's Akbar Road.

Dances were performed and supporters gathered outside Gandhi's residence 12, Tughlak Lane. 


The entire process will be completed after the Central Election Authority president Mullapally Ramachandran hands over the Certificate of Election to the newly-elected president of the Congress.

His mother Sonia Gandhi on Friday announced that it was time for her to retire, triggering immediate speculation about her future plans. 

The Congress party sought to quell it saying she has only retired from the party chief's role and not from politics. 

She also added that Rahul Gandhi has been playing an active role in the last three years. 


Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, current and former Chief Ministers, MPs, senior Congress leaders, and all PCC chiefs and delegates will be present at the handing over ceremony.

Gandhi had been the party Vice President for over four years since 2013.

Rahul's main challenge remains the revamping of party organisation, apart from electoral battles in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

News24Bureau