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She was born to Stefano and Paola Maino in contrada Màini ("Maini street") in Lusiana, a little village 30 km from Vicenza in the region of Veneto, Italy. She spent her adolescence in Orbassano, a town near Turin, being raised in a traditional Roman Catholic family and attending a Catholic school.
In 1964, she went to study English at the Bell Educational Trust's language school in the city of Cambridge. She met Rajiv Gandhi, who was enrolled in Trinity College at the University of Cambridge in 1965 at a Greek restaurant while working there, as a waitress to make ends meet. Sonia and Rajiv Gandhi married in 1968, following which she moved into the house of her mother-in-law and then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
In 1980 her name appeared in the voter's list for New Delhi prior to her becoming an Indian Citizen. At the time she was still holding Italian Citizenship. A violation of Form 4 of the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960, which states that "Only the names of those who are citizens of India should be entered on the electoral rolls." When she did acquire Indian Citizenship, in April 1983, the same issue cropped up again, as her name appeared on the 1983 voter's list when the deadline for registering had been in January 1983.
The Italian citizenship law of 1992 did open a window of opportunity for those who lost their citizenship prior to 1992 to re-register as Italian citizens until the deadline of 31 December 1997. Sonia Gandhi has neither confirmed nor denied that she took advantage of this opportunity. At present the Government of India does not allow dual citizenship.
Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte in 1991 claimed that she was controlling accounts worth $2 billion dollars in her minor son's name.
Harvard scholar Yevgenia Albats cited KGB correspondence about payments to Rajiv Gandhi and his family, which had been arranged by Viktor Chebrikov, which shows that KGB chief Viktor Chebrikov sought in writing an "authorization to make payments in U.S. dollars to the family members of Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi" from the CPSU in December 1985. Payments were authorized by a resolution, CPSU/CC/No 11228/3 dated 20 December 1985; and endorsed by the USSR Council of Ministers in Directive No 2633/Rs dated 20 December 1985. These payments had been coming since 1971, as payments received by Sonia Gandhi's family and "have been audited in CPSU/CC resolution No 11187/22 OP dated 10/12/1984. In 1992 the media confronted the Russian government with the Albats disclosure. The Russian government confirmed the veracity of the disclosure and defended it as necessary for "Soviet ideological interest."
In 2008 her party appointed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Singh was the only international leader to initially refuse data provided by the German authorities during 2008 Liechtenstein tax affair
Sonia Gandhi President of the Indian National Congress and the widow of former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi. She also serves as the Chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance in the Lok Sabha and the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party.An influential person in Indian politics, she was named the third most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine in the year 2004 and was ranked 6th in 2007. She was also named among the Time 100 most influential people in the world for the years 2007 and 2008.
In the heart of Sonia Gandhi resides dream of Rajiv Gandhi’s India. She has seen the picture of development of India through the vision of Rajiv Gandhi. She is engaged in chalking out plans for taking India into the 21st century. She has given new dimensions to the politics of alliance. She has abided by the alliance. As leader of the UPA alliance she has worked out a broad plan for the development of the country. Having decided upon the priority areas she has prepared common minimum programme. She has emphasized upon the importance of Empowerment,Upliftment of the women, beneficial programmes for farmers, new opportunities for employment
Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust has been working for those who are underprivileleged. One of the successful initiatives has been the 'Indira Gandhi Eye Hospital' in Amethi working since 2005.
The Gurgaon land given to the Trust is in news. Trust intended to do what the Hospital in Amethi has been doing. The hospital caters to patients not only from Amethi and Raebareli but nearby Pratapgarh, Jaunpur,Faizabad and Ambedkarnagar consisting of 20 million people and more than half belongs to the BPL(Below poverty line) category.
The most famous patriotic song ‘mere watan ke logon.. “ which we normally hear during Independence Day and Republic day celebrations, has been reproduced here describing Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi and of course the Congress party. The song remembers us the contributions made by the tall leaders like Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. It also reminds us the sacrifice of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi both were assassinated by the anti-national terrorist forces. Proper mixing of images, clubbing with a very touchy singing the song clearly helps us to travel through the history of India and Inter National Congress and the stalwart leaders Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi strongly criticized the politics of caste and religion in U.P. “But this politics failed in U.P and we should find new path of politics and the development of U.P” said Rahul Gandhi. Amidst great cheers from the audience Rajiv Gandhi further said “I see that change in you, the youth. Youth can bring change. We should think how we can remove unemployment and poverty and we should try to form a political strategy accordingly.”
Rajiv Gandhi was one of the foremost visionary leaders this country has thrown up, post-independence. He envisioned India as a land of diverse streams of thought, culture, and religion. Rajiv stood for youth, vigor, hope, dynamism, modernity, and above all, humanity. He achieved fame not only in India but also abroad in a very short span of time. He was young, energetic, fearless, charismatic, and enthusiastic. The prettiest part of his charming personality was his innocent smile. But despite his innocent looks, he had iron in his soul. Rajiv was not really a politician; he was more of a statesman. After Indira Gandhi’s brutal assassination on 31 October 1984, he was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India.
Praja Rajyam Party leader K Chiranjeevi along with his MLAs and senior leaders arrived in New Delhi on Friday to complete the Congress-PRP merger process. As part of it, the actor-turned politician took the Congress membership in the presence of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi at the AICC office on Saturday. Chiranjeevi told reporters that he was happy about taking Congress membership in the presence of Rahul Gandhi. Besides, he said, it was a momentous occasion to join the Congress on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi.
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi during a visit to the villages interacted with villagers. He interacted with some children and evaluated the progress of their education. Rajiv Gandhi, along with David Miliband a English dignitary visited many parts of the state. Rahul Gandhi talked to children and explained them the need of education. He also discussed with the teachers regarding the progress.
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi during a visit to the villages interacted with villagers. He interacted with some women too and enquired about their conditions. Rajiv Gandhi, along with David Miliband an English dignitary visited many parts of the state.
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi at a school during a visit to the villages. He interacted with some children and evaluated the progress of their education. Rajiv Gandhi, along with David Miliband an English dignitary visited many parts of the state. Rahul Gandhi talked to children and explained them the need of education. He also discussed with the teachers regarding the progress. They visited schools, hospitals, agricultural lands etc. Rahul Gandhi wants the entire villages in the country to develop.
Rahul Gandhi along with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra visited a MYRA (Mahila Yojana Raebareli Amethi). MYRA is a program under Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana RGMVP. There are many woman welfare schemes implemented at Amethi and Rae Bareli by the Congress. Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi made a lot of development schemes for Amethi and Raebareli.