New Delhi: Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Sunday said that former Prime Minister of the country Rajiv Gandhi accomplished innumerable achievements during his short political career which was finished in a very “brutal manner”.
Addressing an event at the 25th Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award ceremony, Sonia Gandhi, the wife of the late Rajiv Gandhi said that the former PM’s political career came to an end in a “very cruel manner”, but he made several achievements in the short time he spent in the service of the country, including towards women empowerment.
“Rajiv Gandhi’s political career was finished in a brutal manner but he achieved many milestones in that short time. He was very sensitive towards the diversity of the country. Whatever time he got to serve the nation, he accomplished uncountable achievements. He was dedicated towards women’s empowerment. He struggled for the 1/3 reservation of women in Panchayat and Municipals. If today, over 15 lakh elected women representatives are there in rural and urban bodies, it is only because of Rajiv Gandhi’s hard work and far-sightedness,” Sonia said, adding that his government also lowered the age of voting to 18 years from 21 years.
Rajiv Gandhi took over the charge of the Congress in 1984 following the assassination of his mother and then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
He became India’s youngest Prime Minister at the age of 40 when he assumed office in October 1984.
He served as the Prime Minister of India till December 2, 1989.
Born on August 20 in 1944, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber during an election rally in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.
Former vice president M Hamid Ansari on Sunday conferred the 25th Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for 2020-21 on Banasthali Vidyapith, a residential institution for women in Rajasthan. The award was handed over to Siddhartha Shastri of the institution in the presence of Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge.
However, Sonia Gandhi further said that the ideals of communal harmony, peace and national unity have become more significant in these present times when the forces giving rise to hatred, division in society, bigotry and politics of bias are getting more active.
“They are also getting the support of the ruling dispensation,” she added.
Sonia Gandhi, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and other party leaders on Sunday attended the 25th Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award event in Delhi.
The event was held at Jawahar Bhawan in Delhi on the occasion of the former PM’s 79th birth anniversary.
Sonia Gandhi further said that Rajiv Gandhi was a supporter of the protection and conservation of polymorphism present in India.
“He was very sensitive to the fact that the unity of India can be strengthened only by celebrating religious, ethnic, languages and culture,” she added.
Earlier today, Sonia Gandhi paid floral tribute to the former Prime Minister on his 79th birth anniversary at ‘Veer Bhumi’ in Delhi
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Robert Vadra and Congress National President Mallikarjun Kharge, who arrived soon after Sonia Gandhi, also paid homage to the former Prime Minister at his memorial this morning.