43 Facts About Sonia Gandhi


Sonia Gandhi is the longest serving president of the Indian National Congress, a social democratic political party, which has governed India for most of its post-independence history.


Sonia Gandhi took over as the party leader in 1998, seven years after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, her husband and a former Prime Minister of India, and remained in office until 2017 after serving for twenty-two years.


Sonia Gandhi returned to the post in 2019 and remained the President for another three years.


Sonia Gandhi then moved to India and started living with her mother-in-law, the then-Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, at the latter's New Delhi residence.


Sonia Gandhi kept away from the public sphere, even during the years of her husband's premiership.


Sonia Gandhi agreed to join politics in 1997 after much pleading from the party; the following year, she was nominated for party president, and elected over Jitendra Prasada.


Sonia Gandhi has since been credited for being instrumental in formulating the United Progressive Alliance, which was re-elected to power in 2009.


Sonia Gandhi declined the premiership following the 2004 victory; she instead led the ruling alliance and the National Advisory Council.


Sonia Gandhi stepped down as the Congress president in December 2017, but returned to lead the party in August 2019.


Sonia Gandhi was one of three siblings: Sonia, Nadia and Anoushka, raised in a traditional Roman Catholic Christian family.


Sonia Gandhi spent her adolescence in Orbassano, a town near Turin.


Sonia Gandhi attained primary education attending the local Catholic schools; one of her early teachers described her as "a diligent little girl, [who] studied as much as was necessary".


Sonia Gandhi had fought against the Soviet military alongside Hitler's Wehrmacht on the eastern front in World War II, was a loyal supporter of Benito Mussolini and Italy's National Fascist Party.


Sonia Gandhi has two sisters who still reside in Orbassano along with their mother.


Rajiv worked as an airline pilot while Sonia Gandhi took care of her family.


Sonia Gandhi spent considerable amount of time with her mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi; she recalled her experience in a 1985 interview with the Hindi-language magazine Dharmyug, "Sonia Gandhi [Indira] showered me with all her affection and love".


When Rajiv entered politics in 1982 after the death of his younger brother Sanjay Gandhi in a plane crash on 23 June 1980, Sonia continued to focus on her family and avoided all contact with the public.


In 1984, she actively campaigned against her husband's sister-in-law Maneka Sonia Gandhi who was running against Rajiv in Amethi.


Ottavio Quattrocchi, an Italian businessman believed to be involved, was said to be a friend of Sonia Gandhi, having access to the Prime Minister's official residence.


Sonia Gandhi contested Lok Sabha elections from Bellary, Karnataka and Amethi, Uttar Pradesh in 1999.


Sonia Gandhi won both seats but chose to represent Amethi.


Sonia Gandhi was elected the Leader of the Opposition of the 13th Lok Sabha in 1999.


Sonia Gandhi had been repeatedly selected for the position without any election being held.


The defeated NDA protested her 'foreign origin' and senior NDA leader Sushma Swaraj threatened to shave her head and "sleep on the ground", among other things, should Sonia Gandhi become prime minister.


Sonia Gandhi's supporters compared it to the old Indian tradition of renunciation, while her opponents attacked it as a political stunt.


On 23 March 2006, Sonia Gandhi announced her resignation from the Lok Sabha and as chairperson of the National Advisory Council under the office-of-profit controversy and the speculation that the government was planning to bring an ordinance to exempt the post of chairperson of National Advisory Council from the purview of office of profit.


Sonia Gandhi was re-elected from her constituency Rae Bareli in May 2006 by a margin of over 400,000 votes.


Sonia Gandhi addressed the United Nations on 2 October 2007, Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary which is observed as the international day of non-violence after a UN resolution passed on 15 July 2007.


Sonia Gandhi was re-elected to a third term as a member of parliament representing Rae Bareli.


In 2013, Sonia Gandhi became the first person to serve as Congress President for 15 years consecutively.


Sonia Gandhi returned to active politics for Indian National Congress' campaign for the 2018 Karnataka Legislative Assembly election.


Sonia Gandhi played an active role in orchestrating a post-poll alliance with the Janata Dal.


Rahul Sonia Gandhi, taking responsibility of Congress party's second consecutive loss in general elections held in 2019, resigned from the post of President on May, 25.


In February 2020, Sonia Gandhi held a press conference where she demanded that Home Minister Amit Shah should resign for failing to stop the North East Delhi riots.


Sonia Gandhi asked for the deployment of an adequate number of security forces.


Sonia Gandhi has two children, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.


Sonia Gandhi was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian in March 2013.


Sonia Gandhi follows the style quote "Simple is Stylish" and looks no further than mother-in-law Indira Gandhi's "innate sense of fashion".


Sonia Gandhi was seen as the most powerful politician of India from 2004 to 2014, and variously listed among the most powerful people and women listings by magazines.


In 2013, Sonia Gandhi was ranked 21st among world's most powerful and 9th most powerful woman by Forbes Magazine.


In 2010, Sonia Gandhi ranked as the ninth most powerful person on the planet by Forbes magazine.


Sonia Gandhi was ranked 12 in 2012 in Forbes' powerful people list.


Sonia Gandhi was named among the Time 100 most influential people in the world for 2007 and 2008.