Congress party law makers said they re-elected Sonia Gandhi as their leader today in a crucial step toward her being named India’s first foreign-born prime minister.
The Congress-led coalition, which scored a stunning general election victory, was expected to take power early next week.
Gandhi, 57, has scheduled meetings over the weekend with her allies to cobble together enough support in Parliament for her to become prime minister, following in the footsteps of her husband, Rajiv, and mother-in-law, Indira, who were both assassinated.
Gandhi, who was born in Italy and raised as a Roman Catholic, is now almost certain to become the fourth member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to lead the world’s largest democracy.
She is expected to ask President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for permission to form a new government.
After that formality, Kalam would swear her in so she can prove her majority in a confidence vote in Parliament.