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Rajiv remembered on 65th birth anniversary
Published on 20 Aug. 2009 11:36 PM IST
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President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders paid homage to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 65th birth anniversary on Thursday, joining his widow and Congress president Sonia, their son Rahul, daughter Priyanka and son-in-law Robert Vadra at Rajiv Gandhi’s memorial Veer Bhumi in New Delhi. Hymns from all religions were sung at the memorial in his remembrance. Amongst those present on the occasion was Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar. Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary is celebrated as Sadbhavna Diwas (harmony day) and Akshay Urja Diwas (energy day) in the country. Sources said Sonia Gandhi will distribute wheelchairs to the physically challenged later in the day and Rahul will set off for Chhattisgarh, where he will celebrate his father’s birth anniversary with tribals. At a function, the ambitious National Rural Employment Guarantee Act will be re-christened after Rajiv Gandhi. The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation will distribute awards to recognise the excellence achieved by Indians in different fields. Rajiv Gandhi, the elder son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi, was the seventh prime minister of India. He took office on October 31, 1984 after his mother’s assassination and resigned on December 2, 1989 following a defeat in the general elections. He became the youngest prime minister of the country at the age of 40. Rajiv Gandhi had led the Congress party to a major election victory in 1984, amassing the largest majority ever in Indian Parliament. He modernised the telecommunications industry, expanded science and technology initiatives and improved relations with the US. Jamir gives ‘Sadbhavana Day Pledge’ to staff Maharashtra Governor S C Jamir today gave the ‘Sadbhavana Day Pledge’ to the staff and officers of Raj Bhavan on the occasion of the 65th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at Raj Bhavan. Jawans of the State Reserve Police Force and Mumbai Police posted at Raj Bhavan and the staff of Public Works Department wing at Raj Bhavan also read out the Pledge with the Governor, an official release said. According to UNI report, earlier, the Governor offered flowers to the photograph of Shri Rajiv Gandhi. The Sadbhavana Day Pledge calls upon the people to work for the emotional oneness and harmony of all people of India regardless of caste, creed, region, religion or language and resolve all differences through dialogue and constitutional means. without resorting to violence, the release added.

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