Congress pays tributes to former PM Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi pays tribute to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary at Veer Bhumi, in New Delhi
The Congress on Thursday paid tributes to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary, with Rahul Gandhi saying his father was a man with a "tremendous vision".

Taking to social media and using the hashtag "Remembering Rajiv Gandhi", several Congress leaders hailed Rajiv Gandhi's contribution to nation building and his leadership.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi visited his father's memorial, Veer Bhumi, and paid homage on his 76th birth anniversary in the morning.

Rahul Gandhi described his father as a compassionate and loving human being, and a man with tremendous vision, far ahead of his time.

"Rajiv Gandhi was a man with a tremendous vision, far ahead of his times. But above all else, he was a compassionate and loving human being. I am incredibly lucky and proud to have him as my father. We miss him today and every day," Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Rahul Gandhi reached Veer Bhumi to pay respects to his father, with party leaders and Indian Youth Congress activists present there. They raised slogans hailing the former prime minister.

The birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi on August 20 is observed as Sadbhavna Divas' (harmony day) by the Congress.

Scores of Congress leaders and party workers marked the occasion with various events and took to social media to hail Rajiv Gandhi's contribution to the country. Videos of messages by Congress leaders were also posted on the party's official Twitter handle.

Congress' general secretary in-charge, organisation K C Venugopal said Rajiv Gandhi's leadership and dreams laid the foundation for modern India, while Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala hailed the former prime minister for ushering in the telecom revolution.

Senior Congress leader and AICC treasurer Ahmed Patel said, "Rajiv ji's political life was short, but in that duration, he managed to give a new direction to the nation's progress. He believed India's unity was strengthened by her diversity."

"Rededicating ourselves to his ideals is the best tribute we can offer him, on his birth anniversary," he said.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said it was Rajiv Gandhi's vision that dreamed of an India in the 21st century.

"He (Rajiv Gandhi) said that the 21st century would be driven by technology, computers and innovation. That vision sparked the economic liberalisation of 1991," the former finance minister said.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge said Rajiv Gandhi firmly believed that if India is to become a world leader it has to become an economic powerhouse for which "we need to make use of modern technology".

Former Defence minister A K Antony said Rajiv Gandhi was the hope of the Indian youth. He took the Indian youth and India as a whole into the 21st century, Antony said.

Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Shashi Tharoor also hailed Rajiv Gandhi, saying, "If today we are what we are, we owe a great deal to Rajiv Gandhi. Let us remember him with pride and honour, a life snuffed out too young but which achieved much in a very short time."

Rajiv Gandhi, who was prime minister between 1984-89, was born on this day in 1944 and assassinated by the LTTE during an election campaign in 1991.

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