NEW DELHI, Dec 04 (IANS): In a generational shift at the top in the Congress, Rahul Gandhi is all set to take over as party President next week after he filed his nomination papers on Monday for the post amid opposition jibes over dynasty politics in a contest with no one else in the fray.
The 47-year-old Gandhi, who will be the sixth Nehru-Gandhi scion to helm the party, filed papers at the Congress headquarters here amid cheers and celebrations by party leaders and workers. His mother and incumbent party President Sonia Gandhi signed the first nomination paper for election of her son.
Among the proposers was former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who called Rahul Gandhi the “darling” of the party. Manmohan Singh accompanied Gandhi when he filed the nomination paper.
In all over 90 sets of nominations were said to have been filed supporting Gandhi before the deadline expired at 3 p.m. on Monday. The last date for withdrawal is December 11 when he may be declared elected since there is no contest. Scrutiny of the nomination will take place on Tuesday.
Gandhi, who became the Congress Vice President in January 2013, will succeed his mother Sonia, the longest serving Congress chief who has helmed the party since 1998. He is the sixth in the Gandhi-Nehru family to head the party after his great great grandfather Motilal Nehru, great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, grandmother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv Gandhi.
Hundreds of Congress workers and leaders from across the country supporters thronged the party office ahead of the filing of nominations.
A large crowd of party workers were seen requesting the guards for a chance to meet their leader as he made his much awaited move.
Earlier Gandhi called on former President Pranab Mukherjee, who applied tilak mark on his head as a way of blessing.
On his elevation, Manmohan Singh said, “Rahul Gandhi is a darling of the Congress and he will carry forward the great traditions of the party.”
Noting that Sonia Gandhi served as Congress President for over 19 years, Manmohan Singh said, “It will be yet another chapter for the party.”
Among those who signed the various sets of nomination papers for Gandhi were Motilal Vora, Ahmed Patel, Tarun Gogoi, V.Narayansami, Ashok Gehlot, Kamal Nath, Anand Sharma, Jaipal Reddy, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Salman Khursheed, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Karan Singh.