Sonia Gandhi was born Sonia Maino on December 9, 1946, in the small village of Orbassano in Italy. She is currently the president of the Indian National Congress. Sonia met Rajiv Gandhi in 1965 at Cambridge, England, and after three years of courtship, they were married and had two children – Rahul and Priyanka. In 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated and Sonia was asked to take over the party but she refused. In 1997, Sonia Gandhi finally entered active politics and in 1998 became president of the Congress. She holds the record of having served as Congress president for 10 years consecutively. In 2004, Sonia Gandhi declined to take the reins as prime minister and instead nominated Manmohan Singh for the top job. She was re-elected to the Lok Sabha from Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh in 2004 and 2009. She has served as chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance in the Lok Sabha since 2004. Sonia Gandhi’s foreign birth has been a subject of much controversy. She has been on several leading magazines’ list of “most influential” and “most powerful” people.