Hindi News | Samay | UP/Uttarakhand | MP/Chhattisgarh | Bihar/Jharkhand | Rajasthan | Aalami Samay
  Aalami Sahara Rashtriya Sahara Roznama Sahara
Sonia Gandhi completes 15-year as Congress president
Last Updated : 14 Mar 2013 09:48:13 AM IST
Sonia Gandhi completes 15 years as Congress president


Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday completed an unprecedented 15 years as Congress president, a feat unparallelled in the annals of the 127-year-old organisation.


Even Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi did not have the privilege of holding the post for 10 years at a stretch.Rajiv Gandhi served as prime minister in the 1980s, but was assassinated in 1991. Almost a decade after her husband's death, Sonia Gandhi reluctantly followed in her famous family's footsteps by entering politics.


She took over the reins of the organisation in March 1998 in the wake of the party's dismal showing in the 1998 Lok Sabha polls that saw the exit of the late Sitaram Kesri from the post.


In 1998, a demoralised and fragmented Congress party was going through a turbulent phase and ruling just a few states.Although she had no political experience, Gandhi threw herself into the 1998 legislative campaign.The Congress party was re-energized and Gandhi emerged as a political power in her own right. Congress made a good showing in the 1998 elections, gaining twenty-eight seats in Parliament.


She has so far been unanimously elected to the post barring once when Jitendra Prasada, a senior leader from Uttar Pradesh, had thrown his hat in the ring but failed miserably in the polls in 2000.

The highpoint of 66-year-old Gandhi's political career came in May 2004 when she successfully led the Congress to power at the Centre via the coalition route.


Sonia Gandhi delivered a lecture at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands on Saturday, June 9,2007 in which she explained her relation with her mother-in-law and former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, she said, “Over the years we drew closer together. She shared her experiences about her personal life, her loneliness as a child with her mother ailing and her father imprisoned, of her involvement from her childhood in the freedom movement, of the values that took shape in those formative years. I watched her deal with crises and triumphs. I saw her interact with the common man and with heads of state, with allies and with opponents. She faced adulation and acclaim as well as criticism, slander, rejection and imprisonment. "


On her joining politics, Sonia Gandhi  said, “I was elected President of the Congress Party in 1998 when it was in Opposition. This gave me an opportunity to travel to all corners of the country. I found the people at large responded to me spontaneously. Intuitively, they seemed to understand that, like them, I too valued their traditions, their philosophy and their way of life. This seemed to build a bond between us, especially with the poor who welcomed me and opened their hearts without hesitation." 

After securing power, she declined prime ministership and instead nominated economist-turned-politician Manmohan Singh to the top executive post in the country.

In 1992 Gandhi published a book called Rajiv, which offered an unexpected glimpse into the life she shared with her husband. In 1994 she went into more detail when she published Rajiv's World.


Gandhi is currently in the fourth term of the Presidentship in which she was elected unopposed in 2010. Her term expires in 2015 in the wake of the changes in the party constitution that now mandates organisational polls after five years instead of three years earlier.


Hailing Gandhi's feat, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said, "The judicious and wise leadership of the Congress President has not only strengthened the party but rejuvenated the fundamentals of the idea of India." Senior Congress leader Karan Singh remarked, "When Sonia Gandhi took over the reins of Congress, the condition of the party was not good. People were leaving the party. Soniaji took the responsibility at that time. After that some people left but it did not have any effect on the party."


Singh termed as "miracle" Gandhi leading the party to victory in 2004 with 150 seats in the Lok Sabha and again in 2009 for the second time with 205 seats. "I congratulate her for completing 15 years and I think no other Congress president has completed 15 years term," he said.


Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde also lauded Gandhi's feat saying her leadership has strengthened the organisation. "We Congress leaders from across the nation congratulate her... India has got a great leadership provided by her," he said.

List of Congress presidents and their tenure from 1929 to 1998

Jawaharlal Nehru 1929 & 30

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel 1931

Madan Mohan Malaviya 1932-33

Nellie Sengupta 1933

Rajendra Prasad 1934 & 35

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru 1936-37

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose 1938-39

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad 1940-46

Acharya J B Kripalani 1947

Pattabhi Sitaraimayya 1948 & 49

Purushottam Das Tandon 1950

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru 1951-54

U N Dhebar 1955-59

Indira Gandhi 1959

Source: IANS, Other Agencies, Staff Reporters
For Latest Updates Please-

Join us on

Follow us on

Post Your Comment (0 posted):
Post your comment Post Your Comments
Your name :
Your e-mail address :
Your website :
Add your comments :
Please enter the code you see in the image:

super luxury car maker Rolls-Royce is gearing up to tap the country's Billionaires with ne

Coming-of-age drama 'Boyhood' won three of the biggest awards at the BAFTA 2015 but it was

Sunny Leone is seen scorching the screen in the first look of Leela with her bold acts.

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, S

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian reportedly wants Beyonce to buy a house in her gated commun

Automaker Renault India today said it will roll-out a multi-purpose vehicle 'Lodgy' and a

Pharma tycoon Dilip Shanghvi surpassed Mukesh Ambani as the world's richest Indian with a

When Holi is round the corner, can anyone forget all-time hit Bollywood songs?

In an interim order, the Bombay High Court has restrained the city police from arresting o

Good news for the fans’ of Salman Khan and Deepika Padukone.

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian has posed nude for the upcoming 10th season of 'Keeping Up

Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar and Actress cum Entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty Kundra have pa

Kashmir witnessed season's heaviest snowfall as the arterial Jammu-Srinagar National Highw

Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman has joined Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux as the new bon

Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz launched the all-new compact B-Class in both petrol and dies

Bollywood actor Poonam Pandey, gets relief as a local court in Bengaluru quashed a case pe

Automaker Renault India launched the new generation Duster priced at Rs 8.30 lakh (Delhi e

Now Bollywood A-list actors are competing to get nude on-screen.

The 2015 edition of the International Indian Film Academy Awards is set to enthrall Bollyw

India defeated Zimbabwe by six wickets chasing 288 runs target in World Cup Match.

Music director and singer Vishal Dadlani on Sunday said he quit the Aam Aadmi Party on his

A 53-year-old woman was killed while descending a 3,000-feet mountain after her husband u

US tech giant Apple is planning to remove the physical Touch ID button below the screen an

Samay Live

Samay Live


Samay Live
Samay Live
Samay Live
Samay Live
Samay Live
Samay Live
Samay Live
Samay Live