Congress President Sonia Gandhi just a day prior to Rahul Gandhi taking over as the party's president has announced her retirement. This will mark the beginning of a new era in Congress as Rahul Gandhi is all set to take over as the new president of the Congress party from Monday. Take a look at some rare pictures of Sonia Gandhi which describe her journey in brief:
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Sonia Gandhi was born on December 9, 1946. After her early education, she attended a foreign language school where she studied English, French and Russian.
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She met Rajiv Gandhi in Cambridge where she was doing an English language course. They were married in New Delhi in 1968. She has a son, Rahul Gandhi, and a daughter, Priyanka Vadra, and two grandchildren.
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Sonia Gandhi took the primary membership of the Congress party in 1997. Gandhi has been the longest serving President of the party, having been first elected to the post in 1998. She is also the Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee of the ruling coalition, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
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She campaigned vigorously on behalf of the party and became the President of the Indian National Congress Party in April 1998. Under her leadership, the party headed two consecutive coalition governments at the Centre under the prime minsitership of Manmohan SIngh.
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In the 2004 General Elections, she led the electoral campaign of her party which secured the largest number of seats. The Congress unanimously elected her as its leader in Parliament, and she was therefore expected to be sworn in as Prime Minister. However, she declined to accept the position and nominated Dr. Manmohan Singh to lead the coalition government.
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The Congress Party won the next general elections too under the stewardship of Sonia Gandhi, but finally lost the one in 2014 that swept Narendra Modi led BJP into office at the Centre. (PTI)