On Thursday the party confirmed her resignation. Rahul Gandhi,47, was elected unopposed as the new president and officially takes charge Friday.
Sonia Gandhi, 71, began her role as party president in 1998 and was elected to parliament in 1999. She entered politics in 1994, three years after the assignation of her husband, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Her power stems from heritage as head of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, leaders who have ruled India for the majority of time it has been an independent nation. She would have become India's first Catholic prime minister had she not turned down the role in 2004.
Sonia Gandhi said her role now "is to retire," but later Congress leader Randeep Surjewala clarified in a tweet she will not retire from politics altogether, just from her current role.
Would sincerely request friends in the media to not rely upon innuendos.- Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) December 15, 2017
Smt. Sonia Gandhi has retired as President of Indian National Congress and not from politics. Her blessings, wisdom and innate commitment to Congress ideology shall always be our guiding light.