Rahul Gandhi turns 43 today

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New Delhi, June 19: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday turned 43. His party supporters celebrated the day in a grand manner.

Gandhi currently holds the number two position in the party after he was elevated in January this yearand his party members want him to play a larger role and also don the mantle of the prime minister in case the Congress returns to power in 2014.

He is being projected as the rival to Narendra Modi, the BJP leader considered to be the poster boy of the BJP in the next Lok Sabha polls.

Gandhi startd his political career in 2004 when the Congress-led UPA came to power for the first time and he fought the Lok Sabha polls that year from Amethi, the erstwhile constituency of his father and late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, late uncle Sanjay Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi. He won his maiden election by a margin of over one lakh votes.

Politics, was, however not Gandhi's first preference. After completing M Phil at Cambridge in 1995, Gandhi worked at the Monitor Group Management consulting firm for the next three years and became an entrepreuner himself by 2002, having his own strategy consultancy firm in Mumbai.

He and his sister Priyanka started assisting their mother Sonia after she entered active politics to lead a dentd Congress in the late 1990s. Gandhi was appointed as the Congress general secretary in 2007. Soon after, Gandhi started his own 'discovery of India' and explored the country across the length and breadth and even spent nights with Dalit families.

Gandhi is known for his interaction with people and it creates a concern for his security staff. He breaks his security cordon often to mix with the people. Gandhi had given a positive leadership to his party in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls when the Congress-led UPA returned to power for the second consecutive time but could not repeat the feat in the assembly polls in Bihar and UP in 2010 and 2012, respectively. He failed to help his party gain much in the Gujarat assembly polls against Modi last December.

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