Former Congress president and chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party, Sonia Gandhi, will leave electoral politics as her tenure ends this May, according to sources quoted by NDTV. The report also stated that instead of Sonia Gandhi, her daughter Priyanka Gandhi will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Rae Bareli, a constituency from which the senior Congress leader has been winning elections since 2004. This will mark Priyanka Gandhi’s first foray into electoral politics.
The report has also said the 77-years old Mrs Gandhi will be nominated to Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan.
Sonia Gandhi, born Sonia Maino on December 9, 1946, in Italy, is the longest-serving president of the Indian National Congress party and has been instrumental in the survival of the party after debacle in 1996. Sonia Gandhi, the former chairperson of the National Advisory Council (NAC) during the Manmohan Singh tenure, married Rajiv Gandhi, the son of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in 1968, becoming a part of the Nehru-Gandhi family.
After the assassination of her husband Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, Sonia initially stayed away from politics. However, she later assumed a more active role in the Congress party and became its president in 1998, leading the party through several elections and political challenges.
Despite criticism regarding her foreign origin, Sonia Gandhi has been a key figure in Indian politics, known for her leadership, resilience, and commitment to social welfare policies. Under her leadership, the Congress party has advocated for policies promoting economic growth, social justice, and secularism.
Throughout her career, Gandhi has been a formidable political strategist and consensus-builder, capable of uniting diverse factions within the party. Political historians credit Mrs Gandhi for the success of United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the erstwhile grouping of INDIA, which ruled India from 2004 to 2014.
Priyanka Gandhi, the younger sister of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, formally entered politics in 2019 and has since held the responsibility of General Secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh. It was under her leadership that the Congress party contested the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, managing to secure only 2 seats out of the total 403 seats in the state, down from 7 in the previous elections.
She has been a prominent campaigner for the party in numerous Assembly elections and has been vocal in her criticism against the Narendra Modi-led central government.