Bishwa Nath Singh
Sonia Gandhi is being adored as the most powerful lady of our motherland of our present ear who has proved her leadership and statesmanship much beyond one’s expectations. She is the mass leader besides being a very efficient Parliamentarian and chairperson of UPA. She is an eloquent speaker known for her passion and wisdom. She has remained in the office of Congress President for more than any one else in the history of Indian Congress. Let us pay our humble tribute to her!
(Photo of Sonia Gandhi ,Chairperson of UPA and National Advisory Council)
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Bishwa Nath Singh:
Sonia Gandhi as Edvige Antonia Albina Maino was born on December 9, 1946 in in Maini street of Lusiana, a little village thirty km from Vicenza in the region of Veneto, Italy to her Parents named were. Stefano and Paola Maino. She spent... her adolescence in Orbassano, a town near Turin, being raised in a traditional Roman Catholic family and attending a Catholic school. In 1964, she went to study English at the Bell Educational Trust's language school in the city of Cambridge. She met Rajiv Gandhi, who was enrolled in Trinity College at the University of Cambridge in 1965 at a Greek restaurant while working there, as a waitress to make their love happy ending, Sonia and Rajiv Gandhi married each other in 1968, following which she moved into the house of her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi,the then Prime Minister of India.The couple had two children, Rahul Gandhi (born on June 19,1970 currently member of the Parliament of India, representing the Amethi constituency and General Secretary of National Congress Party) and Priyanka Gandhi (born January 12,1972 who is married to Robert Vadra, a prominent businessman from Delhi having two children, Raihan and Miraya). Despite belonging to the influential Nehru family, Sonia and Rajiv avoided all involvement in politics. Rajiv worked as an Airline pilot while Sonia took care of her family. When Indira Gandhi was ousted from office in 1977 in the aftermath of the Indian Emergency, the Rajiv family moved abroad for a short duration.When Rajiv Gandhi entered politics in 1982 after the death of his younger brother Sanjay Gandhi in a plane crash on June 23, 1980, Rajiv Gandhi was the elder son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi. He was educated at Cambridge, where he had met Italian-born Sonia Maino, whom he later married. After Cambridge, he became a professional pilot for Indian Airlines. He remained aloof from politics despite his family's political prominence. It was only following the death of his younger brother Sanjay Gandhi in 1980 that Rajiv entered politics. Following the assassination of his mother in 1984 after Operation Blue Star, Indian National Congress party leaders nominated him to be Prime Minister.Rajiv Gandhi led the Congress to a major election victory in 1984 soon after, amassing the largest majority ever in Indian Parliament. The Congress party won four hundred eleven seats out of five hundred forty two.. He began dismantling the License Raj - government quotas, tariffs and permit regulations on economic activity - modernized the telecommunications industry, the education system, expanded science and technology initiatives and improved relations with the United States.In 1988, Rajiv reversed the coup in Maldives antagonising the militant Tamil outfits such as PLOTE.He was also responsible for first intervening and then sending Indian Peace Keeping Force for peace efforts in Sri Lanka in 1987, which soon ended in open conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam group.In mid-1987, his alleged Bofors scandal broke his honest, corruption-free image and resulted in a major defeat for his party in the 1989 elections.Rajiv Gandhi remained Congress President until the elections in 1991. While campaigning, he was assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam group on May 21,1991 His widow Sonia Gandhi became the leader of the Congress party in 1998, and led the party to victory in the 2004 elections. His son Rahul Gandhi is a Member of Parliament and the General Secretary of All India Congress Committee Nevertheless to mention that Sonia Gandhi had continued to focus on her family and avoided all contact with the public. Sonia Gandhi’s father, a building contractor, died in 1983. Her mother and two sisters still live around Orbassano, continue to remain very close to her. She is currently the President of Indian National Congress, one of the major political parties of India and UPA Chairperson and Chairman of NAC.Though, she is Italian-born daughter-in-law of the late Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi but after her husband Rajiv Gandhi's assassination on May 21, 1991, she was invited by the Indian Congress Party to take over the Congress but she refused and publicly stayed away from politics amidst constant prodding by the Congress. She finally agreed to join politics in 1997 and in 1998, she was elected as the leader of the Congress. Since then, she has been the President of the Indian National Congress Party becoming the longest serving President till date. She has served as the Chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance in the Lok Sabha since 2004. In September 2010, on being re-elected for the fourth time, she became the longest serving President of National Congress Party over one hundred twenty five year history of the All India Congress party. She was named the third most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine in the year 2004 and was ranked 6th in 2007. In 2010, Gandhi ranked as the ninth most powerful person on the planet by Forbes Magazine. She was also named among the Time amongst hundred most influential people in the world for the years 2007 and 2008. The British magazine New Statesman listed Sonia Gandhi at number twenty ninth in their annual survey of "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures" in the year 2010.On December 31, 1984 Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards, in revenge for Operation Blue Star. In the following days more than six thousand Sikhs were killed in the 1984 riots, mainly in Delhi, by activists and leaders of the Congress Party. Afterward, former treasurer Sitaram Kesri took over the reins of the party and oversaw the Congress support to the United Front governments that ran from 1996 to 1998. During his tenure, several key leaders broke away from the party, and serious infighting broke out among those left. In 1998, Sonia Gandhi finally accepted the post of Congress President, in a move that may have saved the party from extinction. After her election as party leader, a section of the party, which objected to the choice, broke away and formed the Nationalist Congress Party. The use of "Congress (I)" continues to denote the party run by Indira Gandhi's successors. There have been repeated attempts by the Indian nationalist groups to discredit Sonia Gandhi's leadership on the basis of her foreign origin—she is of Italian ethnicity. Although the Congress expedited the downfall of the NDA government in 1999 by promising an alternative, Ms. Gandhi's decision was followed by fresh elections and the Congress party's worst-ever tally in the lower house. The party spent the interval period forging alliances and overseeing changes in the state and central organizations to revive the party. It has had many electoral successes which led up to the formation of a Congress-led government in 2004 under the Prime Minister ship of Dr. Man Mohan Singh who got full support of Sonia Gandhi. In the next general election in 2009 which made Dr.Man Mohan Singh the Prime Minister once again, and Congress was the first party to get two hundred six seats during a coalition era of politics. In fact, the majority of Congress Party wanted Sonia Gandhi to be their leader and accept Prime Ministership of our country but she declined rather proposed Dr. Man Mohan Singh to be the Prime Minister of India with her full support and preferred to remain Chairperson of UPA and Chairman of NAC.The credit goes to her for consolidating the Congress Party as whole who had lost its ground level after Emergency and Narsimha Rao’s regime both in the centre and most of the states. Let us join to wish her good health and all the best in her long and happy life!