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Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi

Gandhi, Indira Priyadarshini (1917–84), first woman prime minister of India. Daughter of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, she became president of the Congress Party in 1959. As prime minister (1966–77) she improved relations with the USSR and helped India to become the dominant power in the region. In 1975 she was found guilty of electoral malpractice. During the ensuing constitutional crisis she declared a state of emergency and jailed nearly 700 political opponents. The Indian Supreme Court overruled the verdict against her and upheld her electoral and constitutional changes; however, she was briefly turned out of office (1977). She regained the premiership in 1980. She was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.

See also: India.

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