Country pays tributes to Indira Gandhi on 32nd death anniversary
As the nation celebrates 32nd death anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari on Monday paid floral tributes to Indira Gandhi on the occasion while Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi led a march from 24 Akbar road to 1 Safdarjung road, where the former Prime Minister was assassinated.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was also present at the Indira Memorial, where the Congress vice president paid tributes to her along with party president Sonia Gandhi and other senior leaders.
Senior leader Anand Sharma said the dignitaries attended a prayer meeting on the occasion during which no one from the Union government was present.
Sharma also attacked the Narendra Modi government for “deliberately disrepsecting” the memory and martryrdom of Indira Gandhi, describing her as the “tallest leader, and a popular Prime Minister who gave her life for India.”
According to news agency report, leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sharma, Kumari Selja, Ahmed Patel and Randeep Surjewala covered the one- km-long distance from the Congress headquarters to the memorial with Rahul.
Earlier, the party had cancelled the annual commemoration programme at Shakti Sthal as it continues to remain shut after reporting a number of duck deaths amid the bird flu scare in the city.
Indira Gandhi was India’s first woman Prime Minister. She was born on November 19, 1917 and was assassinated on October 31, 1984, few months after she ordered the Operation Blue Star in Amritsar to counter the Punjab insurgency. She was the second longest-serving Prime Minister after her father, late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
On October 31, 1984, two of her Sikh bodyguards shot her with their service weapons at the Prime Minister’s residence. Both the accused were sentenced to death and hanged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail, while following her cremation, millions of Sikhs were displaced and nearly three thousand were killed in anti-Sikh riots. She held the Prime Minister’s office from January 1966 to March 1977 and from January 14, 1980 till her death.