Rajiv Gandhi’s farsighted policies helped build modern India: Rahul

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday paid rich tributes to Rajiv Gandhi on his 77th birth anniversary, with Rahul Gandhi saying that the former prime minister was a man with a tremendous vision, whose farsighted policies helped build modern India.

Rahul Gandhi paid floral tributes to his father at the former prime minister’s memorial, Vir Bhumi, and spent some time there.

“Rajiv Gandhi ji was a man with tremendous vision, whose farsighted policies helped build modern India,” the former Congress chief said in a Facebook post. “He was a wonderful father, a compassionate and loving human being. He will always stay alive in my heart. Paid my respects to him at Vir Bhumi,” Rahul Gandhi said. Senior Congress leaders Pawan Kumar Bansal, K C Venugopal and Indian Youth Congress (IYC) chief Srinivas B V were among those who visited Vir Bhumi along with Rahul Gandhi.

“A secular India alone is an India that can survive,” Rahul Gandhi posted his father’s quote on Facebook. “Remembering Shri Rajiv Gandhi ji on his birth anniversary,” he said in a post. Congress president Sonia Gandhi paid tributes to the former prime minister at the Parliament House. Rahul Gandhi inaugurated a photo-exhibition dedicated to Rajiv Gandhi, and it was organised by the IYC.

He also unveiled a bust of the former prime minister at the IYC headquarters here. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi posted a picture of hers with Rajiv Gandhi when she was a child along with a note which read, “The brave do not fall silent before injustice, they speak up for what is right and good, they do not cower when it is dark, they stand strong, they spread the light of truth across skies blackened by deceit. The brave never die.”

The Congress, from its official Twitter handle, tweeted, “India’s youngest Prime Minister. The architect of 21st Century India. The visionary, the pioneer, the patriot. Today we pay homage to Bharat Ratna, Rajiv Gandhi and celebrate his immense contributions to the nation.” Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also hailed the former prime minister and recalled his contribution to the country.

“Remembering Rajiv ji on his 77th birth anniversary – the visionary who shaped India’s destiny for 21st century, who touched lives in every sphere, who translated dreams into reality, who empowered the young-women-backward classes an poor,” Surjewala tweeted.

Chief ministers of Congress-ruled states Amarinder Singh (Punjab), Ashok Gehlot (Rajasthan) and Bhupesh Baghel (Chhattisgarh) paid rich tributes to the former prime minister. Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal also remembered Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary and said he was delighted that party chief Sonia Gandhi is set to meet Opposition leaders on this day to discuss issues that matter. Sonia Gandhi is holding a virtual meeting with opposition leaders on Friday.

“Rajiv Gandhi ushered India’s era of modernisation and launched the technology revolution,” he tweeted. Senior party leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Mallikarjun Kharge, Shashi Tharoor, Sachin Pilot, Salman Khurshid, among others, also paid tributes to Rajiv Gandhi on Twitter. Born in 1944, Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister from 1984 to 1989. He was assassinated in 1991.