On the occasion of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary, Congress veteran Sonia Gandhi on Sunday praised his achievements. Addressing an event at the 25th Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award ceremony, Sonia Gandhi said Rajiv Gandhi “accomplished innumerable achievements during his short political career which was finished in a very brutal manner”.
“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 to women’s empowerment. He struggled for the 1/3 reservation of women in panchayat and municipals,” Sonia Gandhi said.
“…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,” she added.
Rajiv Gandhi – who took over the charge of the grand old party in 1984 following the assassination of his mother and then prime minister Indira Gandhi – became India’s youngest PM at the age of 40. He 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.
Reacting to Sonia Gandhi’s statement, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sudhanshu Trivedi said the Congress “should not hide the truth of how the former PM’s decisions impacted India adversely”.
“We can also understand the pain of Sonia Gandhiji which she feels about the death of Rajiv Gandhiji. She can praise his legacy but she should not hide the truth. The country saw how Rajiv Gandhi’s decisions impacted India adversely. It was short-term, but the country faces a lot of problems. Be it- Sikhs’ killing in Delhi, UP, or Tamil Nadu,” the BJP leader told news agency ANI.
(With inputs from agencies)