Ambika Soni

Ambika Soni (born 13 November 1942) is an Indian politician belonging to Indian National Congress. She had served as Minister of Information and Broadcasting. She is a Member of Parliament representing the state of Punjab in the Rajya Sabha.

Early life and education

Born in Lahore in undivided Punjab to Nakul Sen Whadwa, an I.C.S officer and Lt. Governor of Goa and Indu Nakul Sen Wadhwa in 1942. Ambika studied at Welham Girls School, Dehradun and did her M.A. (Hons.) from Indraprastha College, Delhi University, followed by Diploma Superiore en Langue Francaise from Alliance Francaise, Bangkok and Post-Graduate Diploma in Spanish Art and Literature from University of Havana, Cuba. She got married in 1961 to Uday Soni, an Indian Foreign Service officer. She converted to Christianity on the advice of Sonia Gandhi.

Political career

Ambika Soni began her political career in 1969 when she was co-opted into the Congress Party by Indira Gandhi at the time of the Party split in 1969. Soni was an old family friend of Gandhi from the time when her father was posted as District collector of Amritsarduring the Partition of India and worked very closely with Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1975 she was elected president of the Indian Youth Congress and worked closely with Sanjay Gandhi In March 1976 she was elected to Rajya Sabha. In 1998 she became the president of All India Mahila Congress. From 1999 – 2006 she was General Secretary of All India Congress Committee. In January 2000 she was again elected to Rajya Sabha and resigned on 10 June 2004. In July 2004 she was again elected to Rajya Sabha. From 29 January 2006 – 22 May 2009 she was Minister of Tourism and Minister of Culture in UPA I government. From 22 May 2009 – 27 October 2012 she was Minister of Information and Broadcasting in UPA II government.[5] In July 2010 she was re-elected to Rajya Sabha.