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.