Rahul Gandhi Birthday Special: How the Congress President Helped Nirbhaya’s Family and Other Lesser-Known Facts About RaGa
File image of Congress president Rahul Gandhi (Photo Credits: PTI)

Congress President Rahul Gandhi will turn 49 tomorrow. Born on June 19, 1970, Rahul Gandhi is the four-time Member of Parliament. He represents Kerala's Wayanad parliamentary seat in the 17th Lok Sabha. His political career is still waiting for an accomplishment to live up to the political legacy he is supposed to take forward. His personal life, however, is full of achievements. Here are some interesting and lesser-known facts about Rahul Gandhi.

He is Spiritual and Fitness Conscious

Rahul Gandhi frequently visits meditation centres. Speaking to a portal, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala had once said that the Gandhi family considered meditative spirituality to be "very enlightening and calming". Rahul Gandhi follows a rigorous and regular workout schedule, which includes a 12-km run every alternate day. Rahul Gandhi to Continue as President, Says Congress as Leadership Crisis Deepens.

He Holds a Black Belt

Speaking at an event, Rahul Gandhi once revealed that he holds a black belt in Japanese martial art Aikido. According to his coach Sensei Paritos Kar, the Congress chief has learned Brazilian jiu-jitsu from London and also knows sword fighting. Rahul Gandhi Meets Rajamma Vavathil in Wayanad, His Delivery Nurse After 49 Years.

He Fell in Love, Twice

Rahul Gandhi, a bachelor, reportedly fell in love twice. Veronique Cartelli is rumoured former girlfriend of Rahul Gandhi whom she met in Cambridge in the 1990s. Veronique Cartelli's name emerged when Rahul Gandhi returned to India to campaign for his mother Sonia Gandhi's maiden rally in 1998. A picture of Rahul Gandhi allegedly with Veronique Cartelli went viral. In 2004, Rahul Gandhi, in an interview, said that his girlfriend's name is Veronique and not Jaunita. Rahul and Veronique reportedly parted their ways later.

In 2012, Sunday Guardian reported that Rahul Gandhi was having affair with late Mohamed Zahir Shah’s granddaughter Noal Zaher. Zahir Shah was an Afghan King who ruled Afghanistan from 1933 till 1973. The two were spotted together at many places, the newspaper claimed. However, in 2013, Noal Zaher married Egyptian Prince Muhammad.

He Has an M.Phil

Rahul Gandhi holds an M. Phil in Development Studies from Cambridge, one of the UK's two most prestigious universities. He has also attended Harvard University, in the US.

He is a Trained Pilot

Speaking at a public meeting in Wayanad before the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul's sister Priyanka revealed that his brother knows epics and Puranas. "He has black-belt and a mountaineer. He is a trained pilot and an ace diver," she added.

He's a Fan of Real Madrid and Ronaldo

Between Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo, Rahul Gandhi likes the Portugees player. At the Dialogue For Democracy in Imphal, Manipur, the Congress leader was asked if he is a Barcelona or Real Madrid fan. He gave a cheeky response stating that he supports Juventus. "I am a Juventus fan but between Real Madrid and Barcelona, I am a Real Madrid fan," he said. "Until Ronaldo was there, I was a Real Madrid fan," he added.

He Helped Nirbhaya's Family

Badrinath Singh, the father of the victim of the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape, once said that the Congress leader helped the grief-stricken family in "every way possible he could". "My son (he refused to name him) is now a pilot. He completed his training recently. He has joined IndiGo Airlines and is already flying planes. And it is true it was possible because of Rahul Gandhi," Singh said.