RANK 9 – Sonia Gandhi, 70
Congress president | (Rank 2016: 5)
Despite her conscious decision to stay away from the limelight and make way for son Rahul, Sonia Gandhi remains the paramount leader of the Congress. The longest-serving president of the Grand Old Party, she is still the last word and the final arbiter in the party. Though her ill health has forced her to curtail her public appearances, she remains accessible to all leaders.
Her strategic absence from the Congress Working Committee meeting, in which her loyalist AK Antony broached the topic of Rahul’s elevation, was a message loud and clear for Rahul baiters to fall in line and reconcile with the new normal.
With the party battered at the polls, she could step down as president but will remain the figurehead.
NOTE: She opens all official communication from Congress office bearers and administrative staff all by herself. Also, she personally puts her replies into envelopes and seals them herself.
COMING UP THE NEXT ON RANK 10 RAHUL GANDHI