Central & South Asia
Rahul Gandhi given Congress post
Heir of India's Nehru-Gandhi family is chosen as a party general-secretary.
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2007 14:20 GMT
Gandhi's mother, Sonia, is head of
the Congress party [AFP]
India's Congress party has named Rahul Gandhi, heir of the Nehru-Gandhi family, as one of its general-secretaries.
Party activists beat drums, burst firecrackers and danced outside the party headquarters after Gandhi was chosen as general-secretary of the youth and students' wing.
The party also reshuffled a number of its office-bearers and named new heads for four key state units in a possible indication it is gearing up for an early general election.
The appointment means Gandhi, 37, will become a member of the central decision-making body of the party.
The changes are seen as an effort to revitalise the organisation of a party whose political fortunes have been patchy since its surprise general election victory in 2004.

The Congress-led coalition government has struggled to retain the support of communist allies opposed to a nuclear energy agreement with the United States.

Gandhi, whose mother, Sonia, heads the party, made a surprise entry into politics ahead of national elections in 2004.

He entered parliament after contesting polls in the family borough of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

However, he has largely remained on the sidelines since then, saying he first needed to learn how to serve the party better.

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