Autumn of the Matriarch, Sonia treads the Indira path, moves for Rajya Sabha


Former Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi has filed nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha elections from Rajasthan, leaving Rae Bareli behind. She is the second member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to reach Rajya Sabha. Before this, Indira Gandhi had been a member of Rajya Sabha.

Prior to filing of nominations Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to Rae Bareli, ‘My family in Delhi is incomplete without you. This gets completed after coming to Rae Bareli. This relationship is very old and deep. Now due to health and increasing age, I will not contest the next Lok Sabha elections. It is certain that my heart and soul will always be with you. I know that you will also care for me and my family in every difficulty, the way you all have been doing till now.

Chose the path of Rajya Sabha

Sonia Gandhi had announced long ago that she would not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections due to health reasons. Therefore she had decided to go to Rajya Sabha. Sonia was elected MP from Rae Bareli for the first time in 2004. She has also been a five-time Lok Sabha MP from Rae Bareli. Lok Sabha elections are expected to be held in April-May this year. Even in the era of BJP’s dominance that started in 2014, Rae Bareli is the only seat in the state where the sun has not yet set for Congress.

Property worth lakhs in Italy, three bighas of land in Delhi, 88 kg silver

Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi has a stake in her ancestral property in Italy. Her ancestral home is in Louisiana, Italy. While filing her nominations from Rajasthan, the former party president in the affidavit submitted mentioned of having a share in her ancestral property in Italy. The current price of the mentioned property is said to be Rs 26 lakh, 83 thousand, 594. According to the affidavit, Sonia has total assets worth Rs 12.53 crore.

Sonia Gandhi also has 88 kg of silver besides 1267 grams of gold jewellery. Besides the five time MP owes three bighas (2529.28 square meters) of agricultural land in Deramandi village of Delhi worth Rs 5.88 crore. The source of income as mentioned by her in the affidavit is salary received as an MP, interest and dividends on money deposited in the bank. Also royalty of books is also part of her income. However Sonia Gandhi does not own a vehicle in her name.

Gandhi bond with Amethi

In 1977, Congress suffered a setback in general elections from Uttar Pradesh, but in the 1980 general elections, Sanjay Gandhi, as the third generation of Nehru-Gandhi family, along with Indira Gandhi, was elected to Lok Sabha from Amethi. But after the death of Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi took over the legacy of Amethi.

How Indira became the country’s first woman Prime Minister.

Former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri, after the death of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, made Indira Gandhi the Minister of Information and Broadcasting in his cabinet and she was nominated to Rajya Sabha. But when Lal Bahadur Shastri died in 1966, she became the first woman Prime Minister of the country while still continuing as member of Rajya Sabha.

Will Priyanka take over the legacy of Raebareli ?

After Sonia Gandhi’s nomination for Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan, now speculations are rife that her daughter and general secretary of the grand old party Priyanka Gandji Vadra could well test political waters from Rae Bareli in forthcoming 2024 LOk Sabha elections. An interesting aspect of the parliamentary journey of the Gandhi family is that while Sonia Gandhi had chosen to go to Rajya Sabha in the last phase of her political activism, the parliamentary career of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi started as a Rajya Sabha member.

Is it curtains for Nehru-Gandhi family in active politics of Uttar Pradesh

With Sonia Gandhi filing Rajya Sabha nomination from Rajasthan, the journey of Nehru-Gandhi family in active electoral politics of Uttar Pradesh seems to have now moved towards its end. If Maneka Gandhi, presently active in BJP’s politics, contests the next elections, then the third generation of the family would keep its representation alive or else the entire responsibility of maintaining the relevance of Congress and the Gandhi family in the politics of Uttar Pradesh will shift on the fourth generation leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.

Also possibility of Rahul Gandhi leaving behind his previous defeat and contesting elections from Amethi again seems to gain steam. Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to Varun Gandhi, the latter active in BJP’s politics, comprise the fourth generation of Nehru-Gandhi family.

Pandit Nehru had represented Phulpur seat

Uttar Pradesh, once considered a Congress stronghold till three decades ago, most of the credit for which going to the popularity of Nehru-Gandhi family in state seems to witness a complete change. The foundation of party politics in UP was laid by country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who represented Phulpur Lok Sabha of Uttar Pradesh from the first general election in 1952 to the third general election in 1962.


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