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Nation remembers Rajiv Gandhi on his 68th birth anniversary

New Delhi, Aug 20 (): On the 68th birth anniversary of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and many other politicians paid their homage at his Samadhi today.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, daughter Priyanka Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra, also laid flowers at the samadhi on the occasion. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was however not seen at the memorial during the prayer programme.

Politicians including A K Antony, Meira Kumar, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and V Narayanswamy were also present to pay their tributes to the late PM.

Rajiv Gandhi, the eldest son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi, became a professional pilot for the Indian Airlines. After marrying Sonia Gandhi in the year 1968, Rajiv became the proud father of his two children Rahul Gandhi who was born in the year in 1970 and Priyanka Gandhi, in 1972.

Though he was not very much interested towards politics, he was nominated as the Prime Minister after his mother’s death who was assassinated in the year 1984.

After his mother’s death, Rajiv Gandhi led the Congress to a major election victory in 1984. On May 21 in the year 1991, he was assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam at Sriperumbudur in Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu while addressing an election campaign.

School children dressed in white colour took a march towards the late Prime Minister’s samadhi with a Tricolour in order to display a performance portraying communal harmony. Classical devotional music was also organized in the programme.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Leader of House and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde paid floral tributes to the late PM Rajiv Gandhi including Union Ministers Kapil Sibal and  P.K. Bansal.

Many senior leaders also paid floral tributes at Vir Bhumi, the samadhi of Rajiv Gandhi as a mark of respect to the late Prime Minister.