Home/ News / India/  Rajiv Gandhi death anniversary: Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge pay homage to former prime minister

Congress parliamentary party chairperson Sonia Gandhi, President Malliakrjun Kharge, and Rahul Gandhi paid homage to former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 32nd death anniversary at Vir Bhumi, Delhi.

Late Rajiv Gandhi's children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also paid tribute to their father in Delhi.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge wrote, "Through multiple interventions such as lowering of voting age, strengthening Panchayati Raj, Telecom & IT revolution, and sustained peace accords — he transformed India".

About Rajiv Gandhi:

Rajiv Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister of India. He took over the charge in 1984 following the assassination of his mother and then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He was the youngest Indian PM even to assume office at age 40. He served as the Prime Minister of India till December 2, 1989.

Rajiv Gandhi assassination:

32 years ago Gandhi was assassinated at Sriperumbudur on 21 May. A woman from the terror outfit LTTE was the main killer of Gandhi. In an election rally at Sriperumbudur, the woman touched the former PM's feet and detonated an RDX explosive-laden belt tucked below her dress. The assassin was identified as Thenmozhi Rajaratnam alias Dhanu from Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

Rahul Gandhi's killers are said to be his arch enemies, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a violent guerrilla group fighting for a separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Gandhi was 46 when he was assassinated in a brutal conspiracy.

Rajiv Gandhi encouraged foreign investment and a freer economy. He was vocal about propelling it into the twenty-first century.

Rajiv Gandhi:

Rajiv Gandhi was born on August 20, 1944, in Bombay. He was just three when India became independent and his grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru became Prime Minister.

He briefly went to school at Welham Prep in Dehra Dun but soon moved to the residential Doon School in the Himalayan foothills. Later Gandhi went to Trinity College, Cambridge, but soon shifted to the Imperial College (London). He did a course in mechanical engineering. According to his classmates, his bookshelves were lined with volumes on science and engineering. Gandhi was also a music lover. He liked Western and Hindustani classical, as well as modern music. Other interests included photography and amateur radio.

His greatest passion, however, was flying. He passed the entrance examination to the Delhi Flying Club and went on to obtain a commercial pilot’s license. Soon, he became a pilot with Indian Airlines, the domestic national carrier.

However, after the death of Gandhi's brother Sanjay in an air crash in 1980, Gandhi quit flying planes and gradually entered politics.

And, after the assassination of his mother on 31 October 1984, Gandhi decided to hold national responsibility. Gandhi received a massive mandate and captured 401 seats out of 508 after Indira Gandhi's death.

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Updated: 21 May 2023, 10:06 AM IST
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