Rahul Gandhi, the heir to India's pre-eminent political dynasty, on Monday assured his supporters that he aims to one day help lead the country, but urged them to be patient. Responding to demands from his supporters in the ruling Congress party that he take on a more active leadership role, Gandhi, who only entered politics in 2004, said: "There is no fast track to success in creating a leader."
"You are the first to know that the leadership cannot be created. It has to be built brick by brick," he said at the party's annual convention in Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state. Gandhi has kept a relatively low-profile since being elected to parliament in 2004, focusing on his constituency in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
Now, his supporters are pushing him to take on a larger role. When the party's convention began on Sunday, several participants tried to storm the dais, demanding that Gandhi occupy the center stage.
"I appreciate and I am grateful for your feelings and support. I assure you I will not let you down," Rahul told them in his speech Monday. Rahul belongs to the Gandhi dynasty, unrelated to Mohandas K. Gandhi, the pacifist and independence leader, which has governed India for 38 of its 58 years as an independent nation. Even now, Rahul Gandhi's mother, Sonia, heads the Congress party.
His father, Rajiv, was prime minister from 1984 until 1989. His grandmother, Indira, ruled twice, from 1966 until 1977, and then from 1980 until she was killed in 1984. And his grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru, was India's first prime minister, governing from 1947 until his death from natural causes in 1964, reports the AP. N.U.