Congress pays rich tribute to Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary


The Congress party on Saturday paid rich tribute to India's former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary, saying his single-term will be remembered for numerous "landmark and far-reaching" achievements. Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, party general secretary in-charge of communications, said in a statement that of all achievements, six stand out for his “personal drive, commitment and leadership”, including the IT revolution and peace accords with states like Assam, Mizoram and Punjab.

Ramesh said that the former prime minister deepened the foundations of the IT revolution that has transformed India.

“He ushered the country into the computer, telecom and software development era. He launched technology missions for addressing societal challenges that have, for example, made India a world-leader in vaccine production and made the country polio-free,” he added.

“Second, he led the way personally in ensuring that Panchayats and Nagarpalikas were accroded Constitutional status with on-third reservation for women and emerged as effective institutions of self-government. The fact that there are now 14 lakh women elected to such institutions is a tribute to his determination,” the statement read.

The third major achievement, Ramesh said, was bringing peace and development back to troubled regions of the country like Assam, Punjab, Mizoram and Darjeeling.

“Fourth, he ensured that 18-year olds have the right to vote, opened a new future to youth by establishing the network of Navodaya Vidyalayas in all districts and had Swami Vivekananda's birthday declared as National Youth Day,” the Rajya Sabha member stated.

The Project Clean Ganga and the national wasteland development programme was highlighted as the fifth landmark achievement of Gandhi.

“Simultaneously, the process of liberalization was initiated which paved the way for the 1991 economic reforms that were anchored in the Congress manifesto that bore his imprint,” he added.

“Sixth, he took significant initiatives to resolve our long-standing issues with China & Pakistan and submitted to the UN an action plan for universal and complete nuclear disarmament.”

Sam Pitroda, who spent nearly a decade with Rajiv Gandhi to build the Indian IT industry, said there is no better way to describe the accomplishments of the late PM than what Jairam Ramesh has presented in the document.

"Thanks a lot for documenting and sharing with us Rajiv Gandhi’s accomplishments and for reminding us of the good old days of “romance with a nation,” he said in a tweet.

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