Gandhi, Sonia

Gandhi, Sonia

(gän`dē), 1946–, Indian politician, b. Turin, Italy, as Sonia Maino. She met Rajiv GandhiGandhi, Rajiv
, 1944–91, prime minister of India (1984–89). Oldest son of Indira Gandhi, he flew for Indian Airlines until his brother died in 1981 and he was drafted into politics by his mother.
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 in 1965 when they were students in Cambridge, England. They were married in 1968 and settled in his family home in India. Sonia Gandhi, who became an Indian citizen in 1983, was close to her mother-in-law, Prime Minister Indira GandhiGandhi, Indira
, 1917–84, Indian political leader; daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru. She served as an aide to her father, who was prime minister (1947–64), and as minister of information in the government of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri (1964–66).
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, accompanying her on many trips throughout India. When Indira was assassinated (1984) and succeeded as prime minister by Rajiv, Sonia remained in the background. When Rajiv, too, was assassinated (1991), she continued to shun political life. She finally entered the public arena in 1998, campaigning for the faltering Congress party (see Indian National CongressIndian National Congress,
Indian political party, founded in 1885. Its founding members proposed economic reforms and wanted a larger role in the making of British policy for India.
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); she was instrumental in Congress's winning an increased number of seats in parliament and was elected head of the party. In the 1999 elections Gandhi won a seat in parliament but failed to lead Congress in a return to power. When the 2004 elections resulted in a surprise victory for Congress and its allies, she chose not to become prime minister but remained the influential leader of the party. She resigned from parliament in 2006 when opposition politicians sought to have her disqualifed because she also headed the National Advisory Council (NAC), an unsalaried government post that nonetheless could be considered an "office of profit" and subject her to parliamentary disqualification. At the same time she also resigned her NAC post. She subsequently won reelection (2006, 2009, 2014) to parliament, and later also served again (2010–14) as head of the NAC. Despite critics who object to her Italian birth, Sonia Gandhi, along with her son, Rahul, and daughter, Priyanka, have been generally popular heirs to the NehruNehru, Jawaharlal
, 1889–1964, Indian statesman, b. Allahabad; son of Motilal Nehru. A politician and statesman of great skill, Nehru was enormously popular in India.
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 family dynasty.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is certain that only that person would become the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh who has the blessings of Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi," said Tiwari.
Amethi has been a Congress stronghold since 1966 and Gandhi family members such as former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and now Rahul Gandhi have all contested elections from there.
Calling upon the party workers to follow the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi said the values of brotherhood preached by Father of Nation are relevant even today.
Siddiqui's poser to Modi: " Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh have apologised for the 1984 riots so why don't you apologise as well?
Congress sources further said ( From left) Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.
Flanked by former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh and son Rahul Gandhi, Sonia launched a scathing attack on incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi by accusing him of talking in the air and failing to walk the talk.
Addressing a Kisan Mahapanchayat in his native Chandauli district in Uttar Pradesh, the home minister said Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and the Congress will not be successful in misleading the farmers by holding a mega rally in the Capital.
Inaugurating the renovated Congress Office in Mumbai, which has been named after Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia called on the workers to reach out to the people with renewed vigour to ensure the party's return to power in the state.
During the meeting, the Committee also moved two resolutions, one thanking the people of India and the other the thanking the troika of Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.