A poor lady from Italy is now richer than British Queen! Her name is Antonia Edvige Albina Maino Aka Sonia Gandhi

Antonia Edvige Albina Maino…naam to sunahoga? Haven’t heard it? Well, we can’t blame you for that. The media never calls her by this name which is in fact her real name. The media also doesn’t mention her real profession – as it so gleefully points out in the case of Smriti Irani – but we all are well aware of this. Yes, Antonia Edvige AlbinaMaino is the ‘queen’ we’re talking about. And yes, she lives in the heart of India.

Sonia Gandhi (with a discernible emphasis on Gandhi) is what the media and a herd of sycophants call her. She was originally from a poor family in Italy and worked at a bar. But her fortunes changed drastically for the better (and for the worse for India) when Rajiv Gandhi married her and brought her to India.

Ever since, she’s been living in unimaginable riches, roaming the world, having a bunch of doormats walking around her all the time catering to her every whim and fancy…all this, while the nation has suffered with rampant poverty and endemic corruption.

She is a queen in a literal sense. She has been living at 10 Janpath (15,181 square meters) for over 25 years which is bigger than Prime Minister Modi’s official residence, 7 Lok Kalyan Marg (14,101 square meters), previously known as Race Course Road. Is there any logical explanation for the leader of a party that has looted this nation dry to live in such a lavish abode?

Another question is whether it is justified for the leader of a party that has just 44 MPs in Lok Sabha and rapidly declining MLAsto live in such a mansion? A poll was conducted in this regard by ‘My Vote Today’, India’s leading e-pollster. The poll asked this question to the public – “With 44 MPs in Lok Sabha, should Congress President Sonia Gandhi have an official bungalow larger than that of the PM?” The public verdict was clear: 73% voted for ‘No’, 26% said ‘Yes’ and 1% voted for ‘Maybe’.

In 2013-14, the expenses incurred for the maintenance of electrical fittings at 10 Janpath amounted to a whopping Rs 51,43,318 which was 6.5 times that in the previous year (Rs 7,82,968 in 2012-13 and Rs 2,65,681 in 2011-12).These figures have been revealed by CPWD in an answer to RTI. Who pays for this? The government! And where does the government get revenue from? From us! So basically, we’ve payed for a three-decade long vacation of a foreigner at one of the most prestigious of locations in the country who has not only immensely enjoyed all the luxuries but has even been at the helm of tremendous looting of the very people who’ve funded her stay! We Indians truly are very generous!

The story of her and her family’s lifestyle doesn’t end here. Apparently, Rahul Gandhi finds the 15,181 square meters behemoth inadequate for his stay. He has a separate bungalow allotted to him at 12Tughlak Lane, which is 5,022.58 square meters in size.  He is entitled to it as he is an MP. But can’t he take some trouble and shift into his mother’s ‘claustrophobic’ home and save some taxpayer money?

This was about her son, now to her daughter. Priyanka Vadra (a surname that the media almost never uses) has also been allotted a bungalow at 35, Lodhi Estate which is 2,765.18 square meters, and she isn’t even a representative of the people. But who cares? As long as you’re born in the Gandhi family, you’re entitled to all the opulence that an honest Indian whose worked his whole life can only dream of.

Sonia Gandhi’s worth is estimated at $2 billion (may well be a conservative estimate) which makes her the world’s 4th richest politician. For a nation where more than 20% of the population lives in abject poverty; where the lower and lower-middle class is victim to a decrepit public education and healthcare system; we have a foreigner whose come here and accumulated wealth like Maharajas did in ancient times. The only difference being here that the Maharajas did actually work to improve the lives of their subjects and passed on wealth and prosperity.

Now, can anyone deny that she lives like a queen? The Gandhi’s have named many hospitals eponymously, yet Sonia Gandhi goes abroad to get treatment for whatever unrevealed problem she suffers from. Rahul Gandhi regularly takes long vacations at exotic locations. But we almost never ask who’s paying for all this? Eventually, it’s your money that funds all this. So, let’s raise our voice against this unneeded opulence, and demand that the Gandhi’s vacate their massive mansions.

Vinayak Jain**