Crackers, drumbeats welcome Rahul ascendancy to vice president

Jaipur, Jan 19 (IANS) Hundreds of Youth Congress and NSUI supporters Saturday welcomed the elevation of Rahul Gandhi as the Congress vice president by bursting crackers and beating drums outside the venue of the 'Chintan Shivir' here.

The celebrations by the National Students Union of India and Youth Congress workers had started prior to the official declaration of his number two position.

Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi was made the party vice president by the Congress Working Committee, the party's highest decision making body, amid huge demand that he be given a bigger role.

"We welcome the announcement of Rahul Ganhi being made the party vice president. We are celebrating and bursting fire crackers," Vamshi, a Youth Congress member from Andhra Pradesh told IANS outside the Birla Auditorium, the venue of the 'Chintan Shivir'.

The party leaders and ministers wanted that Rahul Gandhi be given a bigger role in the party. He heads the party's coordination panel for the 2014 polls.

Riot police took positions outside the venue and erected barricades to stop the youth members from going near the entry gate.

The party leaders were also pushing for Rahul Gandhi to be named the party's prime ministerial candidate for 2014 polls.

Earlier Saturday, firecrackers were set off also outside the 10, Janpath residence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi in anticipation of Rahul Gandhi being given a prominent role in the party's affairs.

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