Prominent leaders, including President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, paid homage to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 65th birth anniversary on Thursday, joining his widow and Congress president Sonia, their son Rahul, daughter Priyanka and son-in-law Robert Vadra at Rajiv Gandhi’s memorial Veer Bhumi in New Delhi.
On the occasion, hymns from all religions were sung at the memorial in his remembrance. Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar was among those present there.
It may be mentioned that Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary is celebrated as Sadbhavna Diwas (harmony day) and Akshay Urja Diwas (energy day) in the country.
According to sources, Sonia Gandhi will distribute wheelchairs to the physically challenged later in the day and Rahul will leave for Chhattisgarh, where he will celebrate his father’s birth anniversary with tribals.
Besides, central government’s ambitious National Rural Employment Guarantee Act will be re-christened after Rajiv Gandhi at a function.
The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation will distribute awards to recognise the excellence achieved by Indians in different fields.
Needless to add, Rajiv Gandhi, the elder son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi, was the seventh prime minister of India. He took office on October 31, 1984 after his mother’s assassination and resigned on December 2, 1989 following a defeat in the general elections. He became the youngest prime minister of the country at the age of 40.