Born Edvige Antonia Albina Maino on 9 December 1946, in Lusiana, Veneto, Italy, Sonia Gandhi is best known firstly for her marriage to the Prime Minister of Indian Rajiv Gandhi, who was unfortunately assassinated in 1991. Secondly for becoming the leader of the Indian National Congress party in 1998, and de facto the most powerful woman in India.
So just how rich is Sonia Gandhi? Sources estimate that Sonia’s net worth is over $2 billion, which she has managed to accumulate while serving as the President of the Indian National Congress, as well as from her inheritance from her husband.
Sonia Gandhi Net Worth $2 Billion
Sonia Gandhi was raised in a Catholic family in northern Italy, but when she went to study at Cambridge, England, she met Rajiv Gandhi, and they were married in a Hindhu ceremony in 1968. Neither were interested in politics, but when Rajiv’s elder brother Sanjay died in a plane crash in 1980, and his mother Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984, Rajiv became head of the family, and was also expected to take over as head of the Congress party that his grandfather, Nehru, had established. Sonia automatically supported her husband, until his assassination
Initially popular in particular as a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family dynasty, of which she became nominal head after the assassination of her husband, the time then came for Sonia Gandhi to popularize herself as a politician, notwithstanding her foreign birth, although she had become an Indian citizen in 1983. She declined a place in government, and tried not to be involved in politics. However, after serious splits occured in the Congress Party, Gandhi changed her mind and became leader in 1998, a position she still holds. Undoubtedly, this position eventually added considerable income to Sonia Gandhi’s net worth.
Sonia Gandhi became leader of the opposition in 1999, and then notionally Prime Minister in 2004; however, because of controversy over her foreign birth, actually dismissed by the Supreme Court, she recommended that Manmohan Singh be appointed, with herself chairperson of the National Advisory Council,. in which she served for two years. However, she remained leader of the Congress Party.
Of course few politicians do not court controversy at some point, and to add a further problem for Sonia Gandhi there were rumours about her relationship with Ottavio Quattrocchi, an Italian businessman, in terms of favourable treatment for him in Indian Government business dealings – nothing has come of these accusations.
Sonia Gandhi has received several accolades: in 2004 she was labelled as the third most powerful woman in the world, according to Forbes magazine. In 2007 she took 6th position in the same ranking, and in 2010 Gandhi was named as the 9th most powerful woman in the world. In 2007 and 2008, Sonia was listed as one of the hundred most influential people by The Times, and in 2013 as one of the 50 best dressed women by The Guardian.
Sonia Gandhi’s personal life has seldom been private. Even now, her two sons from her marriage to Rajiv are expected to enter politics, decisions, however, which Sonia says firmly are completely up to them – she is clearly a concerned mother, given her long involvement in Indian politics.
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