Mr Gandhi, the 46-year-old Vice President of the Congress, is expected to move up the party ladder in October to its top rung, replacing his mother, 70-year-old Sonia Gandhi as chief. Mr Gandhi's description by his party as a young leader is often derided by the BJP, which also stresses that the Congress' unwavering allegiance to its First Family is undemocratic.
The Congress' top decision-making body, its Working Committee, met yesterday to clear the holding of internal elections by October. That will allow for Mr Gandhi's elevation and a reconfiguration of the Working Committee.
Mrs Gandhi said at the conclave that the Congress "must be ready to protect the essence and idea of India, which this government is seeking to extinguish".
India lost its much-discussed tag of the world's fastest-growing economy a few days ago, with its growth falling behind that of China to 6.1 per cent for the last quarter.
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