Rare unseen pictures of Cong president Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, Dec 9: Sonia Gandhi turned 70-year-old today and wishes are pouring in from all quarters. However, with the political prowess and influence Sonia holds now, it is not simple to accurately guess that Sonia Gandhi came from simple beginnings. Her father, Stefano Maino, owned a small construction business in Orbassano, Italy, where he was also a part of the manual workforce.

She was born Sonia Maino to Stefano and Paola Maino on this day in 1946 in a small village near Vicenza, Italy. 

When Sonia came to Indira’s home as her bahu. A major transformation in food, lifestyle and culture took place in Sonia's life. But, Indira the former prime minister was as talented as Indira the saas. She was a very intelligent woman and she allowed me space and time to get used to new ways... new food, new way of dressing, Sonia said in an interview. 

She married Rajiv Gandhi in 1968. She took up Indian citizenship and began living with her mother-in-law, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, at the latter's New Delhi residence. 

She stepped in as the party President in 1998, seven years after her husband's assassination. She has remained in office since.

The president of Indian National Congress and Italian-born daughter-in-law of late PM Indira Gandhi; Sonia Gandhi emerged as one of the veteran political leaders in India. Her journey from Sonia Maino to Sonia Gandhi has been a long one. From being a distant observer in a political household, Sonia has now occupied the center stage in Indian politics. 

Let us take a look at some of the rarely seen pictures of Sonia Gandhi on her birthday today: