|Original name||Sonia Maino|
|Date of Birth||Dec. 9, 1946.|
|Birth Place||Ovassanjo, 80 km away from Turin, Italy|
|Family||Father:Stefano Eugene Maino
mother: Paola Maino
husband: Rajeev Gandhi
Son: Rahul Gandhi
Daughter: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
|Famous in-laws||Mother-in-Law: Indra Gandhi
Father-in-law: Feroze Gandhi
Brother-in-law: Sanjay Gandhi
Sister-in-law: Maneka Gandhi
Grandfather-in-law: Jawaharlal Nehru
Nephew: Varun Gandhi
Son-in-law: Robert Vadra
|Education||* Early education in a Roman Catholic school run by the Salesian Order.
* She attended an interpreter’s school where she studied English, French and Russian.
* A two-year certificate course in English language at Cambridge, UK.
* She has a diploma in conservation of oil paintings from the National Museum in New Delhi.
|Fluent||English, French, Spanish, Italian and Russian|
|Citizen||Renounced Italian citizenship on 27 April 1983 and became a citizen of India on 30 April 1983.|
|Marriage with Rajiv Gandhi||* Met Rajiv Gandhi in Cambridge during 1960s.
* They were married in 28th Feb, 1968.
* The wedding was a simple nondenominational ceremony in the garden of 1, Safdarjang Road.
* It was held on Vasant Panchami day in February, the same day when Indira Gandhi married Feroze decades earlier.
* She wore a pink sari made from cotton which Nehru had spun while in prison. It was the same sari which Indira Gandhi had worn for her wedding.
|Politics||* She officially took charge of the Congress party in 1998 and was elected to parliament in 1999.
* Was first elected as a Member of Parliament to the 13th Lok Sabha from the Amethi Parliamentary Constituency of Uttar Pradesh in 1999, getting 67% of the polled votes.
* She has been elected to the 14th Lok Sabha from the Rae Bareily Constituency of Uttar Pradesh.
* On 18 May 2004, after her Congress party won the Indian election, she was slated to become Prime Minister, but declined after fierce opposition and the promise of future turmoil from the defeated right wing.
|Her first visit to Delhi||“When I first came to Delhi in 1968, my father had given me a return ticket. But Delhi was the place of my second birth and the ticket, like my past, was lost in the mists of time.”|
|Priyanka’s entry to politics||“She is a young mother with two small children and a husband to look after and naturally she feels that she has to look after her family. If she entered politics, she wouldn’t be able to given them the attention they need.”|
|About her foreign origin||“I never felt they look at me as a foreigner. Because I’m not. I am Indian”|
|Sad moment in her life||When her husband Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu during an election campaign on May 21, 1991.|
|Powerful||She was No 3 in Forbes magazine’s list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.|
|Day off||Likes to have a day off on sundays|
|Likes||to visit all the beautiful places in India|
|Earlier views on politics||* Long back she had even threatened to divorce Rajiv if he ever entered politics.
* She would have rather seen her children beg than enter into the maelstrom of Indian political life.
|Favourite food||* freshly squeezed orange juice
* Dhal and Roti
* Smoked salamon
* avoids pastas, pizzas, noodles and almost any kind of junk food.
|Interests||Indian hand-looms and handicrafts, as well as Indian contemporary, classical and tribal art.|
|Religion||remains a Roman Catholic, but follows Hindu and Indian traditions with her children|
|Books||* Authored two books: ‘Rajiv’ and ‘Rajiv’s World’.
* Edited ‘Freedom’s Daughter’ and ‘Two Alone, Two Together’ (two volumes of letters exchanged between Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi from 1922 to 1964).
|Positions held||* March 1998 onwards – President, Indian National Congress Chairperson, Congress (I) Parliamentary Party (CPP).
* 1999-2000 : Member, General Purposes Committee.
|Chairperson||(i) Rajiv Gandhi Foundation;
(ii) Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust;
(iii) Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund;
(iv) Nehru Trust for Cambridge University;
(v) Kamala Nehru Memorial Society and Hospital;
(vi) Nehru Memorial Museum and Library;
(vii) Indian Council for Child Welfare Trust;
(viii) Swaraj Bhawan Trust; Patron, Round Square (International Group of Schools), United Kingdom
|Facts||* The third woman of foreign origin to hold the prestigious post, ‘President of the Indian National Congress’ after Annie Beasant and Nelli Sengupta.
* Sonia Gandhi also became the fifth from the Nehru family to take over the Congress reins.
* Kashmir used to be their holiday destination when her husband was alive.
|About her||I’ve seen her fight the day my grandmother died. I’ve seen her fight the day my father died. And she has won. My mother is my hero.”- Rahul Gandhi|
|Address|| Smt. Sonia Gandhi, MP
Tele. (O) : 23034984, 23034285
Tele. (R) : 23014161, 23014481
E-Mail: [email protected]
|Biography||* Sonia: A biography, by Rasheed Kidwai, Penguin India (December 2003). Hardcover. ISBN: 0670049557. Price US$8.8, 256 pages.
* Sonia Gandhi Through A Different Lens; Ravi Singavarapu
|Quote||‘ I am convinced that the time is ripe for a massive renaissance of our political culture so that we build that society which combines compassion with competence, equity with excellence.” ‘|