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India's Sonia Gandhi Launches Re-Election Bid

The head of India's ruling Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, has begun her bid to return to parliament in her constituency in northern India, just days after she quit her seat in the legislature.

Gandhi stepped down as a member of the lower house and head of the government's National Advisory Council last week, following charges that she violated the constitution by holding two paid positions.

Gandhi told thousands of cheering supporters in the city of Rae Bareli she has to give a fitting response to people who brought the charges against her, and that fitting reply will be her re-election.

By-election dates are yet to be announced, but she is expected to easily win back the seat.

The Italian-born Gandhi is the widow of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, whose mother and grandfather also were prime ministers.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.