New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who is set to handle over the party's mantle to her son Rahul Gandhi after steering it for 19 years, today turned 71 and party leaders and workers thronged her residence to greet her on her birthday.
Gandhi also met a number of leaders including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, and accepted their greetings. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and several former chief ministers and officer bearers also greeted Gandhi.
Congressmen gathered outside Sonia Gandhi's 10 Janpath residence since morning and celebrated her birthday by dancing to the beats of drums. Many carried posters and placards wishing Sonia Gandhi. Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat tried his hands at the drums as folk dancers performed outside Gandhi's house.
Former chief ministers Sheila Dikshit, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, former Union ministers including Anand Sharma, Jyotiraditya Scindia and RPN Singh, and party general secretaries including Janardan Dwivedi, Ambika Soni and Mohan Prakash were also present.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also wished Gandhi with a tweet, saying "Birthday greetings to Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi. I pray for her long life and good health.” Many Congress leaders also wished her with bouquets.
"I extend my warm birthday greetings to Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi ji. Wish her a healthy, happy and long life,” said Ashok Gehlot, party's general secretary incharge of Gujarat.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also greeted Gandhi, saying, ”Warm birthday greetings to Congress President Sonia Gandhi ji. On the occasion of your birthday, I wish for your good health and long life." Sonia Gandhi was born on December 9, 1946 in Lusiana, Vicenza in Italy. She has held the post of Congress President since 1998 and has been a Lok Sabha MP since 1999. She is all set to hand over the party's reins to Rahul Gandhi. (PTI)