Rahul takes over amid sense of politics of fear in India: Manmohan

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said Rahul Gandhi was taking over as the new Congress President amid "disturbing trends" as "politics of fear" was taking over the "politics of hope" in India.

"Rahulji is taking over as President of our party at a time when there are certain disturbing trends visible in our politics," Manmohan Singh told a gathering at the Congress Headquarters after Rahul Gandhi was formally declared the head of the country's oldest party.

He noted that a "distinguished academician" has pointed out that "there are dangers that politics of fear will take over the politics of hope" in the country.

"Rahulji, we depend upon you to transform and sustain politics of hope," the Congress leader said.

He said Rahul Gandhi had been trained for a long period and had already looked after many activities of the Congress for many years now.

"Rahulji brings in a new sense of dedication and commitment, a new sense of leadership with courage and humility."

Manmohan Singh said it was "a unique day in the history of the Congress" with Sonia Gandhi handing over the reins of the party to her son.

He said during the last 19 years as the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, "provided a powerful leadership".

"Today is a historic day for India… Please pardon me if I get somewhat emotional," Manmohan Singh said. 

"Now that Soniaji is handing over the reins of the party to Rahulji, we salute Soniaji for uniting the leadership, something that she has been doing for the last 19 years."

-IANS