NEW DELHI/AMETHI, Aug 20 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and other leaders on Monday paid homage to former premier Rajiv Gandhi on his 74th birth anniversary, recalling his contribution to the country.
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 him at Veer Bhumi in the national capital.
Modi 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,” he wrote on Twitter.
Born on August 20, 1944, Rajiv Gandhi served as prime minister from 1984 to 1989. He was assassinated on May 21, 1991.
Rahul Gandhi, in a tweet, 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,” he said.
At Veer Bhumi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, her husband Robert Vadra, former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar also paid homage to the former prime minister.
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. Rajivji will live in our hearts forever,” he tweeted.
Senior Congress leader and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh also shared his sentiments 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, 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 of 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.
Rajiv Gandhi had contested and won four Lok Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi seat.