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Lost leaders: Sonia Gandhi

Heir to India's longest political dynasty who could have been prime minister.

Sonia Gandhi is president of the Indian National Congress party. In 2004, Congress won the majority in India's general election, defeating the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Gandhi fought the Congress campaign on behalf of the "aam aadmi", or common man, battling the BJP's rival "India Shining" campaign by asking: "Who is India shining for?"

Following the Congress win, she was expected to become prime minister. To the country's surprise, she declined, saying it had never been intentions to assume the role.

Though she refused to go into details, many speculated that Gandhi was afraid of the attacks on her foreign birth: she was born in Italy, but gave up her foreign citizenship long before the campaign.

Angry Congress MPs pushed her to ignore the attacks and accept that the citizens of India had given her a mandate to govern, but Gandhi's decision was firm.

Shortly afterwards, she appointed Manmohan Singh, a noted economist, to the position of prime minister. He still serves in that role today.

While many politicians find themselves coming close to leadership, but never being given the chance to lead, Gandhi made it to the top and decided she didn't like the view.

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