Outgoing Congress President Sonia Gandhi was on Saturday left annoyed as firecrackers celebrating his son Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as the new party chief forced her to stop her congratulatory speech on numerous occasions.
Taking the stage at the All India Congress Committee headquarters here to congratulate her son, Sonia was barely minutes into her speech when hundreds of supporters who had gathered outside started bursting firecrackers.
At first, Sonia raised her pitch in order to be audible to the people as the loud noise of firecrackers in the background drowned her voice.
However, a visibly upset Sonia had no choice but stop her speech midway as she expressed her inability to continue to shout into the microphone.
“I will have to shout to be audible… I cannot shout,” she said as she waived at party leaders on the dais asking them to get the bursting of firecrackers stopped.
Sonia had to stop her speech at least four times due to the disturbance.
An announcement by Congress leader Janardhan Dwivedi asking the supporters outside to stop so that Sonia could speak too went in vain as the bursting firecrackers continued for few more minutes.
As Sonia stood in front of the lectern waiting patiently for the noise to subside, Congress leaders in the background rushed out of the office to ensure that no more firecrackers are lit.
Finally, after about five minutes of waiting Sonia resumed her speech.
In a major shift at the top of India’s grand old party, Rahul Gandhi on Saturday took over the reins of the Congress from his mother Sonia Gandhi who held the top post for 19 years.
The party’s Central Election Authority president Mullapally Ramachandran handed over the Certificate of Election to Rahul Gandhi at around 11 am bringing the curtains down on Sonia Gandhi’s tenure.
The Gandhi scion was flanked by former PM Manmohan Singh and his mother on the state while sister Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra were present in the audience.