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Rahul Gandhi named chief of India's Congress party

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NEW DELHI (AP) — India's main opposition Congress party on Monday named Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the country's Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, as party president.

Gandhi was elected to the post unopposed and succeeds his mother, Sonia Gandhi, for the top job in the party.

The party had governed India for decades before the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party swept to power in 2014. Gandhi faces the difficult task of resurrecting a crumbling Congress party, a task made harder by a series of crushing defeats in state elections over the last year.

Gandhi, 47, entered politics in 2004 and is a member of India's Parliament. He was appointed party vice president in 2013.

Sonia Gandhi has led the party for 19 years. She has had health problems over the last few years, but the family and party have released little information about them.

Rahul Gandhi becomes the sixth member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to lead Congress. His father, Rajiv Gandhi, his grandmother Indira Gandhi and his great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru have served as prime minister since India's independence from British colonialists in 1947.

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