Sonia Gandhi (Hindi: सोनिया गांधी; born Edvige Antonia Albina Maino on December 9, 1946) is the President of Indian National Congress, one of the major political parties of India. She is Italian-born daughter-in-law of the late Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. After her husband Rajiv Gandhi's assassination in 1991, she was invited by the Indian Congress Party to take over the Congress but she refused and publicly stayed away from politics amidst constant prodding by the Congress.
She finally agreed to join politics in 1997 and in 1998, she was elected as the leader of the Congress. Since then, she has been the President of the Indian National Congress Party becoming the longest serving President in September 2010. She has served as the Chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance in the Lok Sabha since 2004. In September 2010, on being re-elected for the fourth time, she became the longest serving president in the 125-year history of the Congress party.
Gandhi was named the third most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine in the year 2004 and was ranked 6th in 2007. In 2010, Gandhi ranked as the ninth most powerful person on the planet by Forbes Magazine. She was also named among the Time 100 most influential people in the world for the years 2007 and 2008. The British magazine New Statesman listed Sonia Gandhi at number 29th in their annual survey of "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures" in the year 2010. Source: Wikipedia