New Delhi: Top Congress leaders, including party president Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, and former president Pranab Mukherjee, paid tributes to Rajiv Gandhi on his 75th birth anniversary on Tuesday.
At a prayer meeting organised at ‘Veer Bhumi’, the memorial of Rajiv Gandhi, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also paid homage along with other family members. A host of Congress leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, were also present at the prayer meeting. Former vice president Hamid Ansari was also there.
An audio clip from one of Rajiv Gandhi speeches and the devotional song ‘Vaishnava Jan To’ were playing in the background. Rahul Gandhi remembered his father as a patriot and a visionary whose far-sighted policies helped build India.”Today we celebrate the 75th birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi Ji, a patriot and a visionary, whose far-sighted policies helped build India.”To me, he was a loving father who taught me never to hate, to forgive and to love all beings,” he tweeted.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also tweeted, “From my father, I learned how to listen to people’s stories and find a place in my heart for them no matter how contrary to mine they might be. #RajivGandhi75 #SadbhavanaDiwas.”
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said the values Rajiv Gandhi lived and worked for were “essentially the values that define our nation-spirit of tolerance, commitment to progressive policies and empathy to others”.”On his 75th birth anniversary homage to Rajiv Ji should not only be a remembrance of his extraordinary personality and contribution to nation-building – but it should also be marked by a reaffirmation of our commitment to abide by these very values,” he tweeted.
The Congress, while remembering the former prime minister, said his dream was to make India a formidable force in the 21st century as he focused on technology, education and giving a voice to the disenfranchised.”India’s strength lies in its unity and diversity. As we remember Shri Rajiv Gandhi on his 75th birth anniversary, we must also remember that his words are now more relevant than ever. We must never allow communal madness to break the bond of unity among us all. #SadbhavanaDiwas,” the Congress wrote on its official Twitter handle.”Shri Rajiv Gandhi’s dream was to make India a formidable force in the 21st century. He focused on technology, education & giving a voice to the disenfranchised. His vision & policies are the foundation upon which India thrived & for that he will always be revered,” it said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also remembered Rajiv Gandhi.”Tributes to our former PM Shri Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary,” Modi tweeted
To observe the day as ‘Sadbhavana Diwas’, Congress has planned a host of events during the week. The party will also organise a big event at the Indira Gandhi Stadium on Tuesday where the Congress president will speak. A cultural programme will also be organised.