New Delhi, May 21 (PTI) The Congress on Friday paid tributes to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 30th death anniversary and said he proved that a foresighted and committed leadership can benefit a nation for decades to come.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a woman suicide bomber at an election rally of the Congress party.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi paid floral tributes to his father at his memorial -- Veer Bhumi -- here. He also posted a picture of his father on Twitter along with the words, 'Truth, Compassion, Progress', and used the hashtag 'RememberingRajivGandhi'.
Paying homage to the former prime minister, the Congress put out several tweets hailing his contribution in the nation's development.
'A clear, foresighted & committed leadership can benefit a nation for decades to come -- Rajiv ji has proved that time & again. Today, as we fight the Covid-19 pandemic, his visionary Universal Immunization Programme has laid the foundations for our victory,' the party said.
Rajiv Gandhi's vision conceived over three decades ago has proven to be India's greatest asset during her gravest hour of need, the Congress said.
'Today, as we fight the Covid19 pandemic, vaccinating a billion Indians can turn into a reality thanks to Rajiv ji's UIP framework,' it said.
In another tweet, the party described Rajiv Gandhi as a 'visionary who understood where the world was heading'.
Rajiv Gandhi steered India accordingly so that one day she could lead the world like she is destined to, the party said.
'We pay our heartfelt tributes to Shri Rajiv Gandhi- the architect of digital India. Thanks to his vision & efforts, India today is amongst the leaders of the digital world,' the Congress said.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, a general secretary of the Congress and Rajiv Gandhi's daughter, also shared her father's picture on Twitter and said, 'There is no greater strength than love, no greater courage than kindness, no greater power than compassion and no greater teacher than humility.' In a statement, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the shock waves from the attack that cut short the life of modern India's most charismatic leader are felt even today.
'In the general elections that were held in 1984, Shri Rajiv Gandhi ji won an unprecedented majority. However, he never used this huge majority and popular support to push through bills in the parliament or centralise power,' Kharge said.
Slamming the current dispensation, he said there is a government with much less mandate 'that pushes bills which are against farmers and workers without listening to the genuine concerns raised by the opposition because of brute majority'.
'There is a government that is misusing the anti-defection law to bring down democratically elected governments in states where the opposition is in power.
There is a government that believes in keeping all powers to itself and refuses to even share tax revenues with state governments,' Kharge alleged.
'Rajiv ji will always be remembered as the person who took the first steps to lead India to the 21st century of Industrialisation and Information Technology,' he said.
Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid posted pictures of Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on Twitter, and wrote, 'The once and future king of democracy.' The Congress also shared videos on Rajiv Gandhi's contribution as prime minister in the country's development.
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, senior Congress leaders K C Venugopal, Anand Sharma, Randeep Surjewala, Sachin Pilot, Shashi Tharoor, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, among others, also paid tributes to Rajiv Gandhi.
On Rajiv Gandhi's death anniversary, the Congress is undertaking COVID-19 relief initiatives such as distributing nourishment among patients' relatives at hospitals, observing a mass mask awareness programme and helping people register for vaccination against the viral disease. PTI ASK SMN SMN