Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, and Manmohan Singh, among other leaders, paid homage to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 74th birth anniversary on Monday.
Former president Pranab Mukherjee, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Congress chief and other senior party leaders, offered floral tributes to Rajiv at Veer Bhumi in the national capital. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, her husband Robert Vadra, former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar were also present.
Modi in a tweet recalled the "efforts" of the former prime minister "towards the nation".
Tributes to our former Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi Ji on his birth anniversary. We remember his efforts towards the nation.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 20, 2018
Rahul recalled the time he spent with his father.
Rajiv Gandhi was a kind, gentle and affectionate man whose untimely death left a deep void in my life. I remember the times we had together and the many birthdays we were lucky to celebrate with him when he was alive. He is greatly missed, but his memory lives on. pic.twitter.com/IGwTDJprRd — Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 20, 2018
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala remembered him as the leader, who took the people of India on the "path of modernisation". "Inspiration for millions of youth, symbol of amity, harmony and sacrifice, ambassador of peace and nation-builder, my humble tribute to Bharat Ratna Rajiv Gandhi on his anniversary. Rajiv ji will live in our hearts forever," he tweeted. Congress party's national general secretary Ashok Gehlot also paid tribute to the former prime minister, calling him a humble and warm-hearted soul.
#RajivGandhi ji was a very kind, humble and warm hearted soul, who touched many lives. He dreamt of a strong, vibrant India marching ahead as a technological hub, with best of educational standards n scientific progress. #Memories #RememberingRajivGandhi #RememberingRajiv pic.twitter.com/Rw8wtE16iB — Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) August 20, 2018
Senior Congress leader and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh also took to Twitte to remember the former prime minister on the occasion. "Missing Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary. A great friend, a fine human being and a visionary leader — he was all that and more. His memory lives on, in the hearts of every person whose life he touched, in many small and big ways. #RajivGandhi," he tweeted.
In several other parts of the country, Congress' regional leaders also paid tributes to Rajiv Gandhi by garlanding his portrait or statues. Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot tweeted in Hindi: "Popular leader with a visionary personality, tribute to former prime minister late Shri Rajiv Gandhi. Wishes to all people in the country on Sadbhavna Diwas." He also posted a picture of Rajiv Gandhi, whose birth anniversary is celebrated as 'Sadbhavna Diwas'.
In the Nehru-Gandhi family pocket borough of Amethi, various programmes were held to mark the former prime minister's birth anniversary. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also posted her tribute on Twitter: "Fondly remembering our former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi ji on his birth anniversary". An earlier tweet that had wrongly referred to Rajiv Gandhi's "death anniversary" was deleted from her Twitter page, according to NDTV. Minhaz Merchant, who wrote the biography for Rajiv Gandhi, also shared his sentiments, remembering the time he met the former prime minister.
On Rajiv Gandhi’s 74th birth anniversary today, a bit of nostalgia: a young geeky me with the PM at his 7RCR residence. He was a kind soul but surrounded by insincere advisors pic.twitter.com/WTATh05asf — Minhaz Merchant (@MinhazMerchant) August 20, 2018
Born on 20 August 1944, Rajiv Gandhi served as the sixth Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989. Rajiv took office after the assassination of his mother, then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.
He was assassinated in a suicide bombing at Tamil Nadu's Sriperumbudur on 21 May 1991 and was later cremated at Veer Bhumi, on the banks of the river Yamuna.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Aug 21, 2018 09:05 AM