Sonia Gandhi is the Neta No 1, if the number of mail she gets every month is used to measure her popularity.
The Congress chief gets over 50,000 letters, both registered and post cards, every month, way ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or senior BJP leader LK Advani.
And Sonia must have been used to this top rating; she used to get more mail than even AB Vajpayee when he was the Prime Minister. The letters are pouring in despite the Congress’s debacle in the recent Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections.
The confirmation comes from the Nirman Bhawan post office, which has most of the top VVIP addresses under it. Its areas include Safdarjung Road, Janpath, Shahjahan Road, Tees January Marg, Krishna Menon Marg and Tughlaq Road.
Postmaster MS Bhardwaj says a large chunk of Sonia's more than 50,000 mail come from Rai Bareilly and Amethi, the Gandhi family's strongholds in Uttar Pradesh.
Bhardwaj, who has spent nearly four decades in the postal department, says Sonia has been getting the flood of mails for the past four or five years. Vajpayee used to get less than 1,000 mails a month when he was the PM, Bhardwaj says.
Prime Minister Singh and leader of opposition Advani get around 2,500 letters each per month, says another official of the post office.
Not all letters are appeals for help, sources said. People also write in to voice their opinions on local, national and international issues.