The family house had leather bound books on writings and speeches of Mussolini. She 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". [63] According to Pitroda, Gandhi's ability to resist pressure from multi-national companies to abandon his plan to spread telecommunication services has been an important factor in India's development. Commenting on the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, Rajiv Gandhi said, "When a giant tree falls, the earth below shakes";[22] a statement for which he was widely criticised. [28][9], The couple had two children, Rahul Gandhi (born 1970) and Priyanka Vadra (born 1972). [93] Nalini regrets the killing of Gandhi and said the real conspirators have not been caught yet. [94][95], In August 2011, the President of India rejected the clemency pleas of Murugan and two others on death row—Suthendraraja, alias Santhan, and Perarivalan, alias Arivu. [46], On Thursday, 9 June 1988, at the fifteenth special session of the United Nations General Assembly, held at Headquarters, New York, Gandhi made vocal his views on a world free of nuclear weapons, to be realised through an, 'Action Plan for Ushering in a Nuclear-Weapon Free and Non-Violent World Order.'[47][48]. [30] Many such defections occurred during the 1980s as elected leaders of the Congress party joined opposition parties. [41], Within 62 days of joining as a primary member, she was offered the party President post which she accepted. [47] Following the unexpected defeat of the NDA, she was widely expected to be the next Prime Minister of India. In 1986, he announced a National Policy on Education to modernise and expand higher education programs across India. President of the Indian National Congress, assassination of her husband, Rajiv Gandhi, rights-based development and welfare schemes, Italian participation in the Eastern Front, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, 2018 Karnataka Legislative Assembly election, The Red Sari: A Dramatized Biography of Sonia Gandhi, "Sonia Gandhi(Indian National Congress(INC)):Constituency- RAE BARELI(UTTAR PRADESH) - Affidavit Information of Candidate", "Sonia Gandhi retires as Congress president, to remain active in politics", "Sonia Gandhi's 19 years as Congress president: From husband Rajiv's death to son Rahul's elevation", "Sonia Gandhi keeps Congress hopes alive in India polls", "Assassination In India; Sonia Gandhi Declines Invitation To Assume Husband's Party Post", "Sonia Gandhi re-elected Congress President", "Fourth time in a row, Sonia Gandhi is Congress chief", Religioscope: India: politics of renunciation, traditional and modern – Analysis, "The Sonia Gandhi years and what Rahul Gandhi can learn", "Sonia Gandhi Health Mystery Sets India Leadership Adrift", "Sonia Gandhi: The Maino girl who kept her tryst with destiny in India", "Pictures from the book-biography "The Red sari" by Javier Moro", "Sonia Gandhi, dalla piccola Lusiana all'India ecco il romanzo di una donna speciale", "Assassination In India: Woman in the News; The Tragedy's New Player; Sonia Gandhi", "Sonia Gandhi: Ordinary Italian to powerful Indian", "ASSASSINATION IN INDIA; Sonia Gandhi Declines Invitation To Assume Husband's Party Post", "The Sitaram Kesri case: How dynasty trumped ethics | Latest News & Updates at", "Sonia Gandhi re-elected Congress president, unopposed", "India's Congress Party rallies for Sonia Gandhi", "Sonia Gandhi Biography – about, family and professional history, political journey and awards won", "General election 1999, Candidate wise result", "Detailed Profile – Smt. [107][108] A memorial called Veer Bhumi was constructed at the place of Gandhi's cremation in Delhi. They saw the entry of Nehru-Gandhi scion into politics as a forced-hereditary-participation. [88], In 2010, Gandhi ranked as the ninth most powerful person on the planet by Forbes magazine. [45], When the BJP-led NDA formed a government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, she took the office of the Leader of Opposition. [77], In 1992, the Indian newspapers Times of India and The Hindu published reports alleging that Rajiv Gandhi had received funds from the KGB. He benefited from his youth and a general perception of being free of a background in corrupt politics. Delhi: South Asia Books. Gandhi remained Congress President until the elections in 1991. They got married following a Hindu ceremony; even though Sonia was Italian. [36] Italian nationality law did not permit dual nationality until 1992. His father, Feroze Gandhi, was an Indian politician. [26] Historian Meena Agarwal writes that even after taking the Prime Ministerial oath, he was a relatively unknown figure, "novice in politics" as he assumed the post after being an MP for three years. [3] Rajiv was sent to London in 1961 to study A-levels. A. Ghani Khan Choudhury. In 1970, he was employed as a pilot by Air India; unlike Sanjay, he did not exhibit any interest of joining politics. On 23 June 1980, Rajiv's younger brother Sanjay Gandhi died unexpectedly in an aeroplane crash. [56], Chanderasekar withdrew the IPKF in 1989.[54]. His wife, Sonia Gandhi, also stood by Rajiv's position of not entering into politics. [75][78] The payments were authorised by a resolution and endorsed by the USSR Council of Ministers, and had been paid since 1971. The intervention of India averted the coup. his winsome smile, charm and decency were his valuable personal assets. Despite belonging to the influential Nehru family, Sonia and Rajiv avoided all involvement in politics. AG Perarivalan (Rajiv Gandhi Assasination Convict) Wiki, Wife, Family, & Biography. [39], In an effort to revive the party's sagging fortunes, she joined the Congress Party as a primary member in the Calcutta Plenary Session in 1997 and became party leader in 1998. In August 2011, she underwent successful surgery for cervical cancer[78] in the United States at Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New York. After two years, in 1987, Barnala resigned his office because of a breakdown of law and order, leading to the implementation of President's rule in the state. [78] In their 1994 book The State Within a State, journalists Yevgenia Albats and Catherine Fitzpatrick quoted a letter signed by Viktor Chebrikov, head of the KGB, in the 1980s. [45] In the 1988 Maldives coup d'état, the Maldives president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom asked for help from Gandhi. he could not conceal his feeling that Rajiv Gandhi would be invincible for the opposition. Gandhi was later personally implicated in the scandal when the investigation was continued by Narasimhan Ram and Chitra Subramaniam of The Hindu newspaper, damaging his image as an honest politician. [18][85], In 2013, Sonia Gandhi was ranked 21st among world's most powerful and 9th most powerful woman by Forbes Magazine. [46], In the 2004 general elections, Gandhi launched a nationwide campaign, crisscrossing the country on the Aam Aadmi (ordinary man) slogan in contrast to the 'India Shining' slogan of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) alliance. [64] Pitroda also said their plan to expand India's telephone network succeeded because of Gandhi's political support. [34][35], Former senior Congress leader and former President of India Pranab Mukherjee said that she surrendered her Italian passport to the Italian Embassy on 27 April 1983. Sonia is the widow of Rajiv Gandhi, elder son of Indira Gandhi. Indian politics got the youngest ever Prime minister in Rajiv Gandhi. His son Rahul Gandhi is a Member of Parliament and was the President of the Indian National Congress till 2019. In response, she offered to resign[citation needed] as party leader, resulting in an outpouring of support and the expulsion from the party of the three rebels who went on to form the Nationalist Congress Party. [110] In May 2012, Zee News reported there were 16 government schemes named after Gandhi, including Rajiv Awas Yojana and Rajiv Gandhi Udyami Mitra Yojana. [91] Rajiv's widow, Sonia Gandhi, intervened and asked for clemency for Nalini on the grounds of the latter being a mother. She has two children, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. [61] In the same year, Gandhi condemned the Supreme Court judgement supporting Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and backed LGBT rights. [80], Sonia Gandhi was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian in March 2013. At the end of Rajiv Gandhi's five years in office, the Bofors scandal broke out. She follows the style quote "Simple is Stylish" and looks no further than mother-in-law Indira Gandhi's "innate sense of fashion". At 10:10 pm, a woman later identified as Thenmozhi Rajaratnam - a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam approached Gandhi in public and greeted him. Born to a prolific family surrounded by eminent personalities and shrouded in incredible political legacy, Rajiv Gandhi was destined to lead the country. Sanjay Gandhi was married to Maneka Gandhi, who is an Indian politician. His younger brother, Sanjay Gandhi, was a politician. [19] Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar wrote, "Did it constitute an incitement to mass murder?" He advised Rajiv not to fly aeroplanes and instead "dedicate himself to the service of the nation". For much of his childhood, his maternal grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru was Prime Minister. Several senior leaders such as Madhavrao Sindhia, Rajesh Pilot, Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Arjun Singh, Mamata Banerjee, G. K. Moopanar, P. Chidambaram and Jayanthi Natarajan were in open revolt against incumbent President Sitaram Kesri and many of whom quit the party, splitting the Congress into many factions.