Story when Indira Gandhi proved to be a strong leader than what her party leaders thought

In January 1966, after Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s death, the Congress legislative party elected Indira Gandhi over Morarji Desai as their leader. Congress party veteran K. Kamaraj was instrumental in achieving Indira’s victory. Because she was a woman, other political leaders in India saw Gandhi as weak and hoped to use her as a puppet once elected. As reported in media “Congress President Kamaraj orchestrated Mrs. Gandhi’s selection as prime minister because he perceived her to be weak enough that he and the other regional party bosses could control her, and yet strong enough to beat Desai [her political opponent] in a party election because of the high regard for her father…a woman would be an ideal tool for the Syndicate”.

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