Sonia Gandhi Net Worth, Money and More
Net Worth: $2 billion
Career/Profession: Indian politician
“It was through the private world of family that the public world of politics came alive for me; living in intimate proximity with people for whom larger questions of ideology and belief, as well as issues relating to politics and governance, were vivid daily realities.”
Now this is one lady who does not need any kind of introduction. She is an integral part of Indian politics, like the rest of her in laws. Sonia Gandhi is the 12th richest political leader in the world. Need we say more? Born on 9 December 1946, she is the widow of former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi and the daughter in law of late Indira Gandhi. For a long time, she stayed away from politics even though her family was actively involved in it. She was invited by the Indian National Congress party to take over the government after her husband’s assassination, but she refused it straight away. Much later, in 1997, she agreed to join politics and has been the President of the Congress ever since.
“Those were the best days of my life”
The childhood days, silly. They are undoubtedly the best days of anybody’s life, even if the person in question is a politician, people who are considered to be the most corrupted beings on the planet. Sonia Gandhi, or Edvige Antonia Albina Maino, was born at Lusiana, which is a small village in Italy to parents Stefano and Paola Maino. She spent her teenage days in Orbassano, where she was raised in a Roman Catholic family and went to a Catholic school.
In 1964, she went to study English language at the language school in the city of Cambridge. There she met Rajiv Gandhi in 1965 who was studying in Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. The two got married in 1968 and she moved to India. They had two children, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. In spite of belonging to such a strong political family, the couple stayed away from politics. But Rajiv Gandhi entered into politics in 1982 after the death of his brother Sanjay Gandhi in a plane crash. Sonia Gandhi, on the other hand, continued to take care of the family and the kids. After the assassination of Indira Gandhi and after Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India, Sonia Gandhi started her role as his official hostess and accompanied him on quite a few numbers of his state visits.
Active Participation in Indian Politics
After Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991, she was the next obvious choice for the post of the Prime Minister of India. But she refused the post. So P.V Narsimha Rao was elected as the leader of the party and also the Prime Minister of India. Over the next few years, Congress saw a downward sloping graph and lost its fortunes when Congress lost the 1996 Lok Sabha elections. Many senior leaders split from the party. It was then when Sonia Gandhi joined the party with the aim to revive the party’s lost glory. She joined as a primary member in 1997 and then went on to become the party leader in 1998. 62 days later she was made the party President and she contested Lok Sabha elections from Bellary and Amethi. Quite surprisingly, she defeated veteran BJP leader Sushma Swaraj in Bellary.
She was also elected the Leader of Opposition of the 13th Lok Sabha in 1999 when the BJP led NDA formed a government against Atal Bihari Vajpayee. She called a no confidence motion against the government in 2003.
Life since 2004 Elections
In the 2004 general elections, Sonia Gandhi launched a nationwide campaign with the slogan of the Aam Aadmi and in the election, she won by a large margin from the Rai Bareilly constituency, where she was contesting the elections for. She was then chosen to lead the 15 party coalition government which was called the United Progressive Alliance or the UPA. Once again the issue of her foreign origin came in to question and the opposition party NDA was not ready to accept her as the Prime Minister of India. So Sonia Gandhi appointed Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister, who has been serving the post for the past ten years.
Sonia Gandhi is currently serving as the President of the United Progressive Alliance or the UPA. In fact, in the 125 year long history of the Indian National Congress party, she has been the longest serving president of the party for ten consecutive years. The upcoming 2012 general elections will decide the further fate of the party and its leaders as well. She has constantly been rated among the Most Powerful Women in the World; a poll ran by different organizations and magazines. In 2006, she was ranked at number 6 in the list of the World’s most Powerful Women by Forbes magazine. In 2010, she was ranked the 9th most Powerful Person in the World by Forbes again. She personally stated that her wealth was between $2, 00,000 to $5, 00, 000. But several sources have estimated that her wealth is between $2 billion to $19 billion. According to an expose in a Swiss magazine, when Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, he left roughly $ 2 billion in Swiss bank accounts.