The leader of India's main opposition Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, has retired from her post, the party confirmed on Thursday.
Mrs Gandhi, 71, has been the party president since 1998. She was elected to parliament in 1999.
She is, however, not retiring from politics and will continue as a member of parliament, the party said.
Mrs Gandhi entered politics in 1994 , three years after after her husband, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was assassinated.
Her power derived from being the head of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which has led the Congress party and has ruled India for most of the years since it became an independent nation in 1947.