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Sonia Gandhi turned down India PM job 'after plea from son Rahul'

Published on Jul 31, 2014 5:31 PM
 
Congress party president Sonia Gandhi (right) and vice-president Rahul Gandhi attend the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in New Delhi on May 19, 2014. Mrs Sonia Gandhi's shock decision not to take over as India's prime minister a decade ago followed an appeal by her son Rahul, who feared she would be assassinated like her husband, according to a former family confidant. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Mrs Sonia Gandhi's shock decision not to take over as India's prime minister a decade ago followed an appeal by her son Rahul, who feared she would be assassinated like her husband, according to a former family confidant.

Mrs Gandhi, who was widowed when former premier Rajiv Gandhi was slain by a suicide bomber, had been expected to assume the premiership in 2004 after leading the Congress party to an election victory.

But she instead stood aside in favour of Dr Manmohan Singh, who went on to serve two terms as prime minister before Congress suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party in May.

In a television interview to promote his new memoirs, former foreign minister Natwar Singh said that Mrs Gandhi had been in tears at a family meeting after Rahul pleaded with her to turn down the job.

 
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