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Gandhi, Sonia (1946–)

Gandhi, Sonia (1946–)

Indian politician. Name variations: Soniaji. Born Sonia Maino, Dec 9, 1946, in the village of Orbassano, near Turin, Italy; dau. of a building contractor; studied English at Cambridge, 1964; m. Rajiv Gandhi (b. 1944, son of Indira Gandhi and prime minister of India), 1968 (assassinated, May 21, 1991); children: Rahul Gandhi (politician), daughter Priyanka Gandhi.

Popular politician, met husband while studying at Cambridge; was offered his post within 24 hours of his death but refused it (1991); was elected president of India's Congress Party (1998), then elected to Parliament (1999), representing the seat of Rai Bareilly; won the general election (2005), then stunned the nation when she announced that whe would not become the country's next prime minister.

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