September 27, 2011 / 3:52 AM / 6 years ago

TIMELINE - The making of Gandhi dynasty

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Nehru-Gandhi family political dynasty has no other equivalent in the world, combining the birthright of royalty with the tragic glamour of the Kennedy clan. A member of the family has been in charge of India for more than two-thirds of the period since independence from Britain in 1947.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi (L) and her son MP Rahul Gandhi watch the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 semi-final match between India and Pakistan in Mohali in this March 30, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/Files

Here are highlights of the family’s history.

1947 - Jawaharlal Nehru is elected by the Indian National Congress as the first prime minister of independent India.

1964 - Nehru dies after 17 years as prime minister. His only child, Indira Gandhi, joins cabinet

1966 - Indira Gandhi becomes the first woman to hold prime minister’s office in India

1975 - Following public unrest after a high court finds Indira Gandhi guilty of electoral corruption, she declares a state of emergency on June 25.

1977 - Indira Gandhi loses election to coalition led by Janata Party, comprising nearly all of Indira’s opponents.

1980 - Indira Gandhi returns for her fourth term as prime minister as Congress wins elections with a landslide.

1984 - Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards after Indian army attacks militants holed up in Golden Temple.

1984 - Following the death of his younger brother Sanjay Gandhi in 1980 and mother’s assassination, Rajiv Gandhi reluctantly takes the prime minister’s job at the age of 40.

1989 - A corruption scandal surrounding the Bofors arms deal taints image of Rajiv Gandhi, resulting in Congress’s defeat in the 1989 elections.

1991 - Still holding post of Congress President, Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated by Tamil Tiger suicide bomber. He is survived by his widow Sonia and a son, Rahul, and daughter Priyanka.

1998 - Rajiv Gandhi’s widow Sonia Gandhi elected as the president of the struggling Congress party.

1999 - Sonia Gandhi defeated by Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in general election.

2004 - Sonia Gandhi leads Congress to victory election. She appoints former finance minister Manmohan Singh as prime minister. Her oldest child Rahul Gandhi elected to parliament for first time.

2007 - Rahul Gandhi is appointed as a general secretary to the Congress party in charge of the Indian Youth Congress.

2009 - Under Sonia Gandhi’s guidance, the Congress-led government is re-elected with Manmohan Singh as prime minister.

2011 - Congress head Sonia Gandhi returns to New Delhi on September 8 after a month in the United States where she underwent surgery for an undisclosed ailment.

Reporting by Annie Banerji; Editing by Bill Tarrant

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