Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is the president of the Indian National Congress and Chairperson of the ruling UPA alliance. She has grown in stature with time and plays a pivotal role in Indian politics and is one of the influential politician. She was named as the third most powerful women in world by the Forbes magazine.
Mrs. Gandhi ni Maino, was born in Lusiana, Italy, on 9th Dec. 1946. After her early education, she attended a foreign language school where she studied English, French and Russian and met Rajiv Gandhi in Cambridge, where she was doing an English language course and later in 1968, they got married in New Delhi. She has a son, Rahul, a daughter, Priyanka, and two grandchildren. She spent most of her married life as a private citizen looking after her family. In 1983, when Mrs. Indira Gandhi (Sonia’s mother-in-law), the then Prime Minister of India, was assassinated, her husband Rajiv Gandhi decided to enter politics and during the years 1984 to 1991, she assumed a limited public role. At the same time, she looked after her husband parliamentary constituency, Amethi, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, concentrating on health-care camps and other welfare activities.
After the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, she involved herself in social activities but stayed away from active politics. In 1998, she joined active politics owing to huge public demand and became party president. When she was projected as prime ministerial candidate by INC, there was resentment within the party and some prominent INC leaders left the party.
She won both the seats (Bellay, Karnataka & Amethi, Uttar Pradesh) she contested in 1999 elections. She was elected as the leader of opposition after 1999 elections.
She played a pivotal role in reviving the congress party and was appointed as the chairperson of UPA in 2004 after the General Elections and kept holding UPA together despite huge differences of opinions among the members of the coalition and functioning of the Government.
UPA did well in the 2009 General Elections beating the exit & opinion poll predictions significantly. Sonia Gandhi won from Rae Bareli with a comfortable margin and had been the MP from Rae Bareli constituency in 2004 General Elections as well.