Rahul Gandhi announced his entry into Poltics in March 2004, he also declared that he will take part in
the May 2004 elections, standing for his father's former constituency of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh in Lok
Sabha, Indira's lower house of Parliament.
The record of Congress was poor in Uttar Pradesh, holding only 10 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state
at the time. Entry of young member of Gandhi's family generated speculation that the presence of a young
member of India's
most famous political family would reinvigorate the Congress party's political fortunes among India's
youthful population. In his first interview with foreign media, Rahul Gandhi portrayed himself as a uniter
of the country and
condemned "divisive" politics in India, saying that he would try to reduce caste and religious tensions.
Rahul Gandhi won, retaining the family stronghold with a victory margin of over 100,000. Until 2006 he
held no other office.
In 2006 Rahul Gandhi and his sister, Priyanka managed their mother's campaign for re-election to Rae
Bareilly , which was won with a victory margin of over 400,000 votes. Rahul Gandhi was a prominent figure
in the Congress
campaign for the 2007 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections; Congress, however, won only 22 seats of the 403
seats with 8.53% of votes.
On 24 September 2007 Rahul Gandhi was appointed General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee in a
reshuffle of the party secretariat. He was also given charge of the Indian Youth Congress and the National
Union of India. In 2008, senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily mentioned "Rahul-as-PM" idea when the PM of
India Manmohan Singh was still abroad. He was elevated to the position of the vice-president of the party
in January 2013.
When he was appointed general secretary in charge of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) in September 2007 and
the National Students Union of India (NSUI), Gandhi promised to reform youth politics.
In November 2008 Gandhi held interviews at his 12 Tughlak Lane residence in New Delhi to handpick
at least 40 people who will make up the think-tank of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC), an organisation
that he has been
keen to transform since he was appointed general secretary in September 2007.
Under Rahul Gandhi, the IYC and NSUI have seen a dramatic increase in members from 200,000 to 2.5
million. The Indian Express wrote in 2011, "Three years later, as another organisational reshuffle is in
the offing, Rahul
Gandhi's dream remains unrealised with party veterans manipulating internal elections in the Youth
Congress and a host of people with questionable background gaining entry into it."