The Congress on Saturday remembered Rajiv Gandhi on his 78th birth anniversary and underlined the country’s achievements during his tenure as the Prime Minister.
Recalling him as a visionary, Party General Secretary Jairam Ramesh: “His single term as Prime Minister will be remembered for numerous landmark and far-reaching achievements of which six stand out for his personal drive, commitment and leadership.”
He said Rajiv Gandhi deepened the foundations of the IT revolution that has transformed India. He ushered in 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,” Ramesh said in a statement.
Second, he led the way personally in ensuring that Panchayats and Nagarpalikas were accorded Constitutional status with one-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 veteran leader said.
Besides, he crafted accords that brought 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.
Rajiv Gandhi, he said, will also be remembered for launching the Project Clean Ganga and the national wasteland development programme and was responsible for a comprehensive law to protect the environment. Simultaneously, the process of liberalisation was initiated which paved the way for the 1991 economic reforms that were anchored in the Congress manifesto that bore his imprint.
Sixth, the former prime minister also 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.
“The Indian National Congress salutes this brave son of India and rededicates itself to the ideals he stood for, the principles he upheld, the values he cherished and the causes he championed.” the statement read.