NEHRU-GANDHIS | Latest News India - Hindustan Times


May 12, 2004 08:14 PM IST

This family has given three PMs to India and 8 MPs. Can they manage another PM?

This Nehru-Gandhi family has given six presidents to the Congress, three Prime Ministers to the nation who ruled India for over three decades and eight Members of Parliament. Of all the other claims to fame, the First Family of Indian politics has almost institutionalised the dynastic impulse. 

The Nehru-Gandhis are unique insofar as they have used their dominant perch in national politics to manufacture a place for themselves in our collective historical memory. 

It is this name alone which made Rajiv Gandhi Prime Minister after his mother's assassination. The same name made Congressmen accept Sonia Gandhi as the legitimate president of the Congress even though, at that point of time, she had no exposure to politics.

The entry of Sonia Gandhi's children into the Congress, like her own introduction to the party,  is dependent on their belonging to a particular family. This dependence is not entirely baseless, since it has been proved that the Nehru-Gandhi name is still a crowd-puller in India.

Jawaharlal Nehru

Year of entry into politics: 1919
Top post: Prime Minister (1947-64)
Best known for: First Prime Minister of India
Party: Congress
Constituency: Allahabad

Year of entry into politics: 1959
Top Post: First woman Prime Minister (1966-67 and 1980-84)
Best known forGaribi hatao programme, 20-point scheme, nationalisation of banks
Party: Congress
Constituency: Rae Bareilly

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Sanjay Gandhi (grandson)
Year of entry into politics: 1970
Top Post: Member of Parliament
Best known for:  Firebrand leader, started Maruti Udyog
Constituency: Amethi

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Rajiv Gandhi (grandson)
Year of entry into politics: 1980
Top post: Prime Minister (1984-89)
Best known for: Initiated technological and economic reforms, computerisation
Party: Congress
Constituency: Amethi

Sonia Gandhi (granddaughter-in-law)
Year of entry into politics: 1991
Top post: Leader of the Opposition
Best known for: Checked the eroding support base
Party: Congress
In this election: Filed nomination papers from Rae Bareilly

Rahul Gandhi (great grandson)
Year of entry into politics: 2004
Party: Congress
Best known for: Being Rajiv's heir 
In this election: Amethi

Priyanka Gandhi (great granddaughter)
Year of entry into politics: 1998
Party: Congress
Best known for: Star Congress campaigner

Maneka  Gandhi (granddaughter-in-law)
Year of entry into politics: 1988
Top Post: Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment
Best known for: Animal rights activist, four-term MP
Party: Bharatiya Janata Party
In this election: Candidate from Pilibhit, UP

Feroze Varun Gandhi (great grandson)
Year of entry into politics: 2004
Best known for:  Being Maneka and Sanjay's son, also a poet
Party: Bharatiya Janata Party
In this election: BJP campaigner

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