'Papa, you are always with me, in my heart', Rahul pays tribute to Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary : The Tribune India

'Papa, you are always with me, in my heart', Rahul pays tribute to Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary

Rajiv Gandhi’s single term as PM will be remembered for far-reaching achievements, says Congress

PTI

New Delhi, August 20

The Congress on Saturday paid rich tributes to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary, saying his single term as PM would be remembered for far-reaching achievements, including deepening the foundations of the IT revolution that has transformed India.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra visited their father's memorial, Veer Bhumi, and paid homage on his 78th birth anniversary in the morning.

"Papa, you are always with me, in my heart. I will always try to fulfil the dream that you saw for the country," Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

He also shared a video and picture montage on Rajiv Gandhi.

In a statement, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said his single term as prime minister would be remembered for numerous landmarks and far-reaching achievements of which six stood out for his personal drive, commitment and leadership.

First, he deepened the foundations of the IT revolution that had transformed India, Ramesh said.

Rajiv Gandhi ushered the country into the computer, telecom and software development era, he said.

"He launched technology missions for addressing societal challenges that have, for example, made India a world-leader in vaccine production and made the country polio-free," Ramesh said.

"Second, he led the way personally in ensuring that Panchayats and Nagarpalikas were accorded Constitutional status with one-third reservation for women and emerged as effective institutions of self-government," he said.

The fact that there are now 14 lakh women elected to such institutions is a tribute to his determination, Ramesh added.

He also pointed out that Rajiv Gandhi crafted accords that brought peace and development back to troubled regions of the country like Assam, Punjab, Mizoram and Darjeeling.

"Fourth, he ensured that 18-year olds have the right to vote, opened a new future to youth by establishing the network of Navodaya Vidyalayas in all districts and had Swami Vivekananda's birthday declared as National Youth Day," he said.

The fifth major contribution of the former prime minister, Ramesh said, was that he launched 'Project Clean Ganga' and the national wasteland development programme, and was responsible for a comprehensive law to protect the environment.

"Simultaneously, the process of liberalisation was initiated which paved the way for the 1991 economic reforms that were anchored in the Congress manifesto that bore his imprint," he said.

"Sixth, he took significant initiatives to resolve our long-standing issues with China and Pakistan and submitted to the UN an action plan for universal and complete nuclear disarmament," Ramesh said.

The Indian National Congress salutes this brave son of India and rededicates itself to the ideals he stood for, the principles he upheld, the values he cherished and the causes he championed, he said.

The Congress, on its official Twitter handle, fondly remembered the former prime minister and hailed him as the "architect of 21st century India".

"It was through his farsighted vision that ushered in the IT & telecom revolution in India. Today, we celebrate his legacy," the party said in a tweet.

Several Congress leaders, including Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and party's general secretary, organisation, K C Venugopal also paid tributes to Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary.

India's youngest prime minister, Gandhi held office from 1984-89. He was assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber in 1991.

Tribune Shorts


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