Rajiv Gandhi would have been 79 years old today
Rajiv Gandhi was PM for just one term; but he initiated reforms that changed India. 650 Navodaya schools, one in each district, was just one of them
“We were buddies,” said the then BJP MP Subramanian Swamy about former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in an interview with Outlook magazine. He then went on to recall that as the Union law minister, he had gone through the files related to the Bofors deal and found no involvement of the then PM.
Rajiv Gandhi had once accosted him in the Central Hall of parliament house, Swamy had recalled. “I hear you have been poring through the Bofors papers. What did you find?” Rajiv Gandhi had asked the law minister. Recalling the conversation, Swamy said he remembers the reply he gave. “I found that you got the boot and others got the loot.”
On Sunday, Swamy turned up at the Central Hall of the parliament to pay tributes to the former prime minister on his birth anniversary along with a motley group of parliamentarians. Posted All India Trinamool Congress MP Jawahar Sircar on X:
“Honouring late Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary— on behalf of Trinamool Congress & Bengal. With Kapil Sibal, KC Venugopal, Mallikarjun Kharge and Sonia Gandhi. BJP did not have the decency to send a minister!”
Indeed, no BJP leader or even the Lok Sabha Speaker turned up in Parliament. Sircar had earlier posted a photograph of the leaders waiting for the Speaker.
“In Parliament today — waiting for Speaker or Senior BJP Minister to honour Rajiv Gandhi’s portrait on his birth anniversary— but none came!! Defines Modi’s culture or its absence.”
The PM and the Speaker paid their tribute on social media with one-line posts. While Rahul Gandhi, travelling in Ladakh, paid his tributes on the banks of the Pangong Tso lake, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh on Sunday morning posted:
“Rajiv Gandhi would have been 79 today. His Prime Ministerial tenure, although brief, was very consequential. It was a period of wide-ranging achievements which he never boasted about. Let me recall a few of them."
Pankaj Pachauri, former media advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, posted , “1988 was the only year in the country’s independent history when India’s GDP became larger than China.”