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Gandhi Re-Elected As Party Leader

November 15, 2000

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ Italian-born Sonia Gandhi was elected Wednesday to head India’s oldest political party for a second term.

Gandhi won 7,448 of a possible 7,542 votes, easily keeping the post of Congress party president for the next three years, United News of India news agency reported. Jitendra Prasada, who challenged Gandhi for the job, received the votes of just 94 party delegates.

Gandhi entered politics in 1998, seven years after her husband, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was assassinated. She is heir to a political dynasty: Her husband; his mother, Indira Gandhi; and his grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru, all were Congress party leaders and Indian prime ministers.

Despite Gandhi’s successful electoral debut, winning a seat in Parliament in 1999, the party has lost three elections and has been weakened by corruption scandals and infighting.

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