Megawati became a symbol of opposition in the over three decades Suharto was in power and went on to win a following in Indonesia's political turbulence of the late 1990s. She formed the current PDI-P soon after Suharto was forced to step down in 1998.
But she was never able to reproduce her father's popularity, and analysts say that if she does still dream of winning the presidency and creating an enduring Sukarno family legacy, this will be her last chance.
"She has a legacy to live up to and there's a part of her that thinks she belongs back in that presidential palace," said Douglas Ramage, political analyst at Bower Group Asia consultancy.
However, opinion polls suggest she would struggle to beat off likely challengers from other parties: tycoon Aburizal Bakrie and Prabowo Subianto, an ex-general with a dark human rights record.
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At the rank and file level of the party, however, Megawati enjoys the support of thousands of self-proclaimed loyalists who believe that the ability to lead the country runs in her blood.
"As a Javanese I believe in natural and mystical forces and so I believe the spirit of Bung Karno still protects our nation," said 40-year-old Dewi Kriswindari, using Sukarno's nickname amidst a murmur of prayer by his grave in Blitar in East Java province, one of the party's traditional strongholds.
"I'm not very political, but Megawati is his daughter and I believe she can guide Indonesia as a leader."
Party insiders say Megawati and the party's ageing senior leadership take this legacy very seriously - not least because they could lose influence if she goes.
The death last year of Megawati's husband Taufik Kiemas, whom she recently called her "sparring partner", meant perhaps the only other prominent and counterbalancing voice in the party is gone, giving her supporters ample room to urge Megawati to run for president again.
Nevertheless, a growing chorus of voices within the party has called on her to instead take on the role of 'Mother of the Nation' to echo her father's legacy and, considering her consistently low popularity ratings, let Jokowi run for the presidency.
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"The people want a new figure, and that's Jokowi," said Ali Husein, a PDI-P legislative candidate from Bangka Belitung province who co-chairs a group promoting the Jakarta governor's candidacy.
"I don't think the PDI-P would be stupid enough for Mega to be the candidate."
In a recent live television interview, she walked out on stage to Frank Sinatra's "My Way" and sat silently or gave typically vague answers as Jokowi watched from the audience.
When asked the inevitable question about the candidacy, Megawati's answer was ambivalent.
"Leaders of the party don't have to be directly related to Sukarno," she said, "But I tell them to remember that there are still many loyal followers of Bung Karno."