Vice President, PM pay tributes to Narasimha Rao

New Delhi, Jun 28 (PTI) Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid tributes to the late P V Narasimha Rao on his birth anniversary, saying he led the country through a critical phase.

In his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' radio address, the prime minister said June 28 marks the commencement of the birth centenary of Rao.

He said the former prime minister led the country through a 'critical phase'.

Rao was the prime minister between June 21, 1991 and May 16, 1996.

'He was rooted in Indian values; and had knowledge of western literature and science as well,' Modi said, adding that Rao was one of the most experienced leaders of India. The prime minister recalled that Rao had joined the freedom movement in his teens.

When the Nizam of Hyderabad refused permission to sing 'Vande Mataram',  he took an active part in the movement against the Nizam.

From a young age, Rao raised his voice against injustice, Modi said.

'His rise from a very simple background, his emphasis on education, his eagerness to learn, and, along with all these qualities, his leadership ability are all memorable,' Modi noted.

He also urged people to know more about Rao in his centenary year.

Vice President Naidu described Rao as a pioneer of economic reforms 'which set India firmly on the path of economic recovery.' He said 'PV' was an astute administrator and a multi-faceted personality -- a scholar, writer and polyglot.

'He promoted mother tongue as a medium of instruction up to college level. He will always be remembered for his invaluable contribution to the country's growth and development,' Naidu said on Twitter. PTI NAB SMN SMN