Rajiv Gandhi's stellar performance as PM earned him place among top world leaders: Congress

08:12 AM Aug 21, 2023 | PTI |

The Congress on Sunday remembered former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary, saying he was a ”true patriot” and ”great son” of India who made invaluable contribution in the making of 21st-century India.


Paying rich tribute to Rajiv Gandhi, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge described him as an architect of Digital India and said his stellar performance as prime minister earned him a place among top leaders of the world.

He said Rajiv Gandhi was a leader who inspired hope among millions of Indians.

”On the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Rajiv Gandhi, we remember his incomparable contribution by paying heartfelt tributes to him. With his stellar performance as the prime minister, he has earned himself a place among the top leaders of the world. Rajiv ji played a unique role in the making of 21st-century India,” Kharge said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

”Rajiv Gandhi was a great son of India. He was a leader who inspired hope among millions of Indians,” he said, adding, ”We salute a true patriot”.


In a video message shared by the Congress on ‘X’, Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi said that Rajiv Gandhi wanted to see a strong India and wanted to empower the youth and women.

”Rajiv ji had unbreakable attachment to the farmers of the country. He had said – ‘If the farmers become weak then the country loses self-sufficiency, but if they are strong then the independence of the country also becomes strong’,” she said.

The Congress government of Chhattisgarh has taken concrete steps to make these dreams of Rajiv Gandhi come true, she noted.

”I am happy that under the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana’, Chhattisgarh government has taken many commendable decisions for the upliftment of farmers apart from subsidy, which is an example for other states,” he said.

In a post in Hindi on X, Rahul Gandhi paid tribute to his father.

”Papa, the dreams you had for India overflow from these priceless memories. Your footsteps are my way – understanding the struggles and dreams of every Indian, listening to the voice of Mother India.” Rahul Gandhi, who drove along with several of his companions from Leh to Pangong on motorcycles on Saturday, marked the birth anniversary of his father on the banks of the lake Sunday morning.

Kharge, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were among those who paid homage to Rajiv Gandhi at his memorial Veer Bhumi here.

Later, Kharge and Sonia Gandhi along with other leaders also paid tributes to Rajiv Gandhi at his portrait in the Central Hall of Parliament.

Prominent among those present in the Central Hall of Parliament were Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.

Kharge said, ”As we observe Sadbhavana Diwas, it is pertinent to remember Rajiv Gandhi’s vast contributions which propelled India into the 21st Century.” His numerous interventions such as lowering of voting age to 18 years, sustained peace accords, universal immunisation programme and a new education policy with emphasis on inclusive learning brought transformative changes in the country, he said.

”We pay our deepest respects to Rajiv Gandhi ji on his birth anniversary,” he said.

Describing him as an architect of Digital India, the Congress president said his telecommunication and IT revolution and computerisation program made India stand in the frontline countries of the world and millions of youth got employment.

Many of his interventions such as reducing the age of voting, strengthening Panchayati Raj, establishing harmony through continuous peace agreements, became a means of strengthening democracy, he said.

”Today, when the country is celebrating 30 years of the establishment of Panchayati Raj, we have to think about how many countless people got entry into politics through this far-reaching step, the Congress president noted,” he said.

AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh said Rajiv Gandhi would have been 79 today.

”His Prime Ministerial tenure, although brief, was very consequential. It was a period of wide-ranging achievements which he never boasted about. Let me recall a few of them,” Ramesh said on X.

He said his personal drive and leadership ensured that 18-year-olds have the Right to Vote, more than 15 lakh women are elected representatives in panchayats and nagarpalikas today and Peace Accords were signed in Assam, Punjab, Mizoram and Tripura.

Besides, he said, decisive steps were taken to usher India into the IT era, technology missions were launched in rural drinking water, immunisation, literacy, oilseeds, telecom, dairy and wasteland development and Vaccine research and production capabilities were expanded.


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