Rahul Gandhi takes charge as Congress president

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He took over the baton from his 70-year-old mother Sonia Gandhi, as the 87th Congress chief.

India's Rahul Gandhi took over Saturday as president of the main opposition Congress, becoming the sixth member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to head the party that has ruled the country for much of its independent history.

Rahul Gandhi said that he aims to make Congress a"grand old young party

She told hundreds of Congress leaders gathered on the AICC lawns how she had retreated into a shell following the assassination of her mother-in-law, the late prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. This had been the culture of the party for decades, he added. "They break, we unite".

Accusing the BJP of promoting hate and violence, he said: " These regressive forces win not because they deserve to but because they are powerful and misuse that power". They defame, we respect and defend. "I want Congress to become an instrument of dialogue with people of India", he said. He asked his party men to stand up to the BJP, saying anger and hatred can not defeat the party. "Prime Minister has his magic. Our country, whose philosophy and history is born out of love and compassion, is tarnished by such horror and no amount of hugs can fix the damage done to this great country of ours", said Gandhi.

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".for ten years we gave the people a responsible and progressive government led by Dr Manmohan Singh that worked for all sections of our society", she said.

Gandhi entered public life 13 years ago when he stood and won in his family seat of Amethi in north India.

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"I accept this position with the deepest humility, with the knowledge that I will always be walking in the shadow of giants", Gandhi said in his acceptance speech which quickly became an attack on Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

"Breaking away from tradition, this is the first time that the certificate for the new Congress president is being given out in front of party leaders and members", Janardan Dwivedi, senior Congress leader said while addressing the function. He was appointed as the party general secretary in 2007 and was then elevated as its vice president in January 2013.

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