Sonia Gandhi, 2004 News
Italian-born Indian politician, stunned India in May when she refused to become the country's prime minister. She was widely expected to accept the post after her party, the Indian National Congress Party, prevailed over the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in parliamentary elections. The BJP vociferously protested Gandhi's expected elevation to prime minister, saying her foreign birth precluded her from assuming the position. The Congress Party instead chose former finance minister Manmohan Singh. Gandhi is part of India's powerful Gandhi dynasty.