The country today fondly remembered former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 69th birth anniversary with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leading the nation in paying tributes to the departed leader.
Mukherjee,Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Singh paid floral tributes at Vir Bhumi,the samadhi of Rajiv Gandhi. Rajiv’s wife and Congress president Sonia Gandhi,son and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi,daughter Priyanka Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra,also laid flowers at the samadhi.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar,Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath,Finance Minister P Chidambaram,External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid,Road Transport Minister Oscar Fernandes and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit were among the other leaders who paid tributes to the departed leader.
Devotional music was played throughout the programme. Scores of National Students Union of India (NSUI),the student wing of Congress,members were also present on the occasion.
A group of Congress workers,mostly from Andhra Pradesh,Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,who were part of the Sadbhavna Yatra to spread the message of national harmony and integration against terrorism,were also present at Vir Bhumi.
Rajiv Gandhi,who heralded the information and communication technology revolution in the country,was born on August 20,1944 and served as the sixth Prime Minister of India from 1984¿1989. He was assassinated by the LTTE on May 21,1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu while addressing an election campaign.