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Sonia Gandhi, leader of India's victorious Congress Party

The Indian electorate has handed the centre-left Congress party an overwhelming mandate to govern—the alliance it leads won 262 out of the 543 seats in the national parliament. Here, Jonathan Power recalls his meeting back in 2005 with Sonia Gandhi, the party’s leader and head of one of India’s oldest political dynasties.

I walk up Sonia Gandhi’s driveway, past guards with Uzi machine guns, and can’t help thinking that when I…

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