New Delhi, December 9: Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi celebrates her 73rd birthday today. Sonia Gandhi was born on December 9 in 1946. She was appointed as Congress President for the first time in 1998. She held the top post for record 19 years until her son Rahul Gandhi took over in 2017. When Rahul quit the post following Congress's defeat in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the grand old party again turned to Sonia who then decided to lead the party for the second time after the nearly two-decade-long first stint. Sonia Gandhi Not to Celebrate Birthday in Wake of Rising Cases of Assaults on Women.

Sonia Gandhi entered politics in 1994, three years after her husband, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was assassinated. She is credited with Congress's two consecutive wins at the Centre and several in states. In 2004, she managed to bring disparate political groupings together on one platform and formed the United Progressive Alliance. The pre-poll coalition stumped the BJP out of power. The UPA retained power in the 2009 general elections as well. Sonia Gandhi Trains Guns at Govt on Gandhi Jayanti, Says Ruling Regime Wants to 'Replace Mahatma's Vision With RSS Agenda'.

On Sonia Gandhi's 73rd birthday, here are some lesser-known facts about Congress's Warhorse:

  • Sonia Gandhi's father, Stefano Maino, fought alongside Adolf Hitler's Nazi army against the Soviet military during World War 2.
  • Sonia Gandhi's father was initially against her relationship and marriage with Rajiv Gandhi.
  • Sonia Gandhi's first meeting with Indira Gandhi was rescheduled as she was very nervous.
  • She first came to India in 1968 and stayed Amitabh Bachchan's Wellington Crescent House before her marriage with Rajiv Gandhi.
  • Sonia and Rajiv tied the knot on February 28, 1968, the same day when her father-in-law Feroz Gandhi married to her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi decades earlier.
  • After her marriage, a tutor was appointed to teach Sonia Hindi. Prior to her marriage, she was a fluent speaker of French.
  • Sonia Gandhi always had a great bonding with Indira Gandhi. She gives credit to Indira for her political achievements.
  • Sonia has authored two books - Rajiv and Rajiv's World.

Sonia Gandhi is now handling Congress's day-to-day affairs as Interim President. Party leaders hope her leadership will reinvigorate the cadre and bind the ranks. LatestLY wishes Sonia Gandhi a very happy birthday!

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 09, 2019 07:00 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website